Trump Accepts US Intelligence on Russian Hacking: Reince Priebus
nsnbc : Reince Priebus, the Chief of Staff of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump stated that Donald Trump accepts the U.S.’ intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia engaged in cyber attacks affecting the U.S. presidential election and that the United States may take actions in response.
Priebus made his statement on Fox News on Sunday, effectively reversing Trump’s previous statement that the intrusions could have been carried out by China or a 400-pound hacker on his bed. If true, the President-elect would have had to have had access to intelligence material that has not been published so the claim could be independently tested by the press.
Reince said that Trump believes Russia was behind the intrusions into the Democratic Party organisations. However, Reince did not clarify whether the President-elect agreed that the hacks were directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reince said:
“He accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia so that’s not the issue. … He’s not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular campaign.”
The statement by the incoming Trump administration’s Chief of Staff was the first acknowledgment from a senior member Trump’s transition team that Russia directed the hacking and subsequent disclosure of Democratic Party emails during the 2016 presidential election.
The statement came less than two weeks before the inauguration of Trump who has come under increased pressure from fellow Republican Party members to accept the findings of the U.S. Intelligence Community on Russian hacking and other attempts to influence the election. The statement came also shortly before Trump faces one of his first official hurdles, the confirmation hearings about his Cabinet appointees.
An US intelligence report released last week claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a sophisticated influence campaign including cyber attacks to denigrate Democratic Party presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and to support Donald Trump.
However, the unclassified, published version of the report does not provide any conclusive data that could support Russian “government involvement” let alone direct involvement of the Russian presidency.
CH/L – nsnbc 08.01.2017
Related background articles: