WASHINGTON D.C. — President-elect Donald Trump is trying to cast new doubt on the CIA’s conclusion that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.
He’s tweeting Monday that “it’s very hard to determine who was doing the hacking.” He adds that if his campaign had lost the election and “we tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”
That there was hacking in 2016 and previous elections is not in dispute, nor is it a newly-discussed revelation. There’s broad agreement from President Barack Obama and lawmakers of both parties on investigations into which countries were responsible, including, but not limited to, Russia.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who joined Senate Democrats Sunday to call for an immediate bipartisan investigation, said Monday on “CBS This Morning” that probes are essential because hacking could be a new form of warfare.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has strongly condemned any foreign meddling to influence the U.S. election. McConnell spoke to reporters Monday, a day after President-elect Donald Trump said the recent CIA assertion that Russian hacking had sought to help his candidacy was “ridiculous.”
McConnell says that the “Russians are not our friends” and condemned Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other “U.S. political organizations.”
The Kentucky Republican says the Senate Intelligence Committee will investigate. He made his remarks as Trump continues to downplay the CIA’s confidential assessment that the Russian government hacked into the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account.
Meanwhile, a handful of members of the Electoral College are demanding an intelligence briefing on whether the government is investigating links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
Ten electors released an “open letter” to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper requesting information about ongoing investigations on ties between Trump and any Russian government interference in the election. One is a rogue Republican who says he won’t vote for president-elect Donald Trump.
The letter released on the social media site Medium was written by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California. Also signing the letter is Chris Suprun, a Texas Republican who says he won’t vote for Trump, citing a Federalist paper by Alexander Hamilton that says electors must determine that the president is qualified and independent from foreign influence.