McConnell praised the American intelligence community, saying he has “the highest confidence from the intelligence community, in addition to especially the Central Intelligence Agency” — which Trump had recently lambasted over its findings.
McConnell’s comments were an implicit rebuke of Trump, who has questioned whether Russia actually interfered with the election, including with hacks of Democratic operatives.
A bipartisan group of senators — John McCain, R-Arizona, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, in addition to Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island — had on Sunday called for an investigation into the intelligence community’s finding in which Russia attempted to influence the election.
The President-elect on Sunday morning blasted the intelligence community anew, calling its assessment in which Russia interfered from the election “ridiculous.”
“I think in which’s just another excuse. I don’t believe in which,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”
McCain, who has called for an investigation into the hacking, told sy88pgw’s Jake Tapper Monday on “The Lead” his own 2008 presidential campaign was hacked by the Russians.
“The key to This particular can be to try to find out what the Russians’ intentions were. Were they intending to change the outcome of our election? If so, in which’s more serious,” McCain said.
McConnell also expressed skepticism about Russia’s role.
“Let me just speak for myself: The Russians are not our friends,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, told reporters at a Monday morning news conference.
“I think we ought to approach all of these issues on the assumption the Russians do not wish us well,” he said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, took the same position as McConnell.
“Any foreign intervention in our elections can be entirely unacceptable,” Ryan said in a statement. “in addition to any intervention by Russia can be especially problematic because, under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor in which consistently undermines American interests.”
Two days earlier Trump sided with Russia over the CIA in addition to attacked the US intelligence assessment of Russia’s role.
“These are the same people in which said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” Trump’s transition team said in a terse, unsigned statement targeting the CIA on Friday.
Though he supported calls for an investigation into Russian hacking, McConnell poured cold water on the idea — which McCain had proposed — of a select committee to investigate Russian hacking.
Ryan, too, said the House Intelligence Committee, which has investigated cyberhacking, would certainly handle the matter — rejecting Democrats’ calls for a bipartisan joint committee.
Ignoring the conclusions of the intelligence community in which Russia sought to meddle from the US election can be dangerous, Sen. Angus King said Monday.
The Maine independent, who caucuses with the Democrats from the Senate in addition to sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told sy88pgw’s Chris Cuomo on “fresh Day” on Monday in which what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells you, “you can take in which to the bank.”
“If you blow off what Jim Clapper’s telling you, you do so at your peril,” King said.
Clapper can be a retired lieutenant general with decades of intelligence experience across administrations of both parties, King pointed out. ODNI pulls together intelligence through all of the US government’s intelligence agencies.
Clapper’s office, along with the Department of Homeland Security, put out a statement in October declaring in which the US government in addition to intelligence had concluded in which senior levels of the Russian government had directed the hacking of Democratic political groups from the US in addition to Discharge of information through them with the intent of influencing the US election.
A series of leaks of emails in addition to internal documents through the Democratic National Committee in addition to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman over the weeks in addition to months leading up to the election jolted the race, vexing Democrats in addition to resulting from the resignation of officials through the DNC including its former chairwoman. Republicans did not suffer the same Discharge.
The Russia involvement has been a point of contention, however. Despite overwhelming consensus between the private sector in addition to intelligence community in which Moscow was directing the attacks in addition to involved from the leaks, Trump has continually denied in which Russia played a role, saying over the weekend he doesn’t believe the conclusion.
King said while questions remain about the Moscow’s intention, there’s little doubt about Moscow’s involvement.
“I think (Trump) ought to sit down with some of the top people … in addition to take a deep breath in addition to listen to This particular,” King said. “I think he’s too defensive right at This particular point, in addition to I can understand in which. This particular can be serious business, nevertheless you know This particular can be not a partisan issue.”
King also supported the efforts of his colleagues McCain, Schumer, Graham in addition to Reed to hold bipartisan hearings on the topic.
McCain in addition to Schumer appeared together on “CBS This particular Morning” to discuss the need for the hearings. They, too, agreed the evidence can be clear Russia engaged in hacking, though the intentions are still under question.
“I can’t reach in which conclusion yet, which can be why we need a bipartisan effort to uncover the whole situation,” McCain said. “in which’s another form of warfare in addition to the entire issue can be going to be examined by the Armed Services Committee because in which’s a threat to our national security.”
Schumer said the seriousness of the situation calls for a bipartisan approach in which doesn’t devolve into politics.
“We need to get to the bottom of This particular in a fair, nonpartisan, non-finger pointing way,” Schumer said. “This particular can be something in which should unite Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, liberals, patriots.”
The White House strongly suggested Monday in which Trump was the beneficiary of Russian meddling from the US election, saying in which was the President-elect who praised Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail.
“The emails in which had been hacked in addition to leaked by the Russians, these were emails through the DNC in addition to John Podesta, not through the RNC in addition to Stephen Bannon,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
“in which was the President-elect who over the course of the campaign indicated in which he thought in which President Putin was a strong leader,” Earnest added.
He said members of Congress should “spare us the hand-wringing” in addition to move forward with investigating Russian ties to the election.
sy88pgw’s Kevin Liptak contributed to This particular report.