President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team questioned the credibility of the CIA late Friday in response to a report the agency found Russia intervened in the election to boost his prospects.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said in a statement. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”.
The statement came in response to a report in The Washington Post that the CIA concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on behalf of Trump.
“Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. Officials,” the Post reported, based on unnamed sources who were “briefed on the matter.”.
According to one unnamed senior U.S. Official, it was the “consensus view” of the intelligence committee that Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected, the Post reported.
Trump aide calls his electoral win ‘historic’ ‘blowout’ — it’s not.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has denied Russia was the source of the hacked emails his organization released.
Trump has consistently disputed reports that Russian intelligence worked to help his campaign. In an interview with Time published this week, Trump said, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.” He added he believed the reports of Russian intervention were politically motivated.
Retired general Michael Hayden, who served as CIA director during the Bush administration, was critical of Trump’s refusal to accept the conclusion of the intelligence community.
“To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions. Wow,” Hayden said at an event in Manhattan, according to CNN. “The data matters.”.
On Friday, President Obama ordered the nation’s intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of attempts by foreign hackers to influence U.S. Elections, which he hopes can be completed before he leaves office Jan. 20.
Obama orders review of foreign attempts to hack U.S. Election.