Donald Trump says the CIA’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election is “ridiculous” and being used by Democrats as “just another excuse” for his defeat of Hillary Clinton.
The president-elect told Fox News Sunday that he doesn’t necessarily oppose President Barack Obama’s order for a review of campaign-season cyberattacks. But he adds that in any such effort “you should not just say ‘Russia.’ You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.”
The Obama administration has said the review is not just about Russia or the election. The White House says the report will look at other election-year incidents, including 2008 and 2012 cyberattacks linked to Chinese hackers.
Trump has long said the culprit could be China or just a random hacker sitting on a couch. The CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election on behalf of the Republican.
Trump win ‘had nothing to do with the Russians’
Trump’s incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus said it’s “insane” to suggest that Russian hacking influenced the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.
He said Sunday the Russians “didn’t tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan.”
Priebus, who will step down as chair of the Republican National Committee, told ABC’s This Week that Clinton “ignored states that she shouldn’t have, and Donald Trump was the change agent… Donald Trump won in an electoral landslide that had nothing to do with the Russians.”
Priebus said he supports further investigations.
Both parties call for investigations
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers of both parties are calling for the issue to be examined.
Senator Ben Cardin, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it’s important for a Trump administration to work closely with the intelligence community and “stop being naive” on Russia.
Speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, the Democratic Maryland senator said Russia has attacked European institutions. Now, he says, it’s trying to undermine America.
He said whether Russia was purposely trying to get Trump elected is something that lawmakers need to investigate. Cardin says Russia is a bully and is controlled by a “corrupt regime.”
Other senators, from the Senate Armed Services Committee, including Republican Senator John McCain, said Sunday they too think the allegation should be examined.
McCain said the Senate Armed Services Committee will go to work “immediately” to investigate the allegations.
The Arizona Republican said the effort will be led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and a Democratic co-chair.
McCain also said ultimately he’d like the Senate to create a special committee to investigate the allegations. Such “select” committees take time to set up.
McCain called Russian leader Vladimir Putin “a thug, and a murderer, and a killer, and a KGB agent.”