As U.S. intelligence agencies continue to reveal information about Russia’s hacking of the election, Donald Trump said officials are wasting their time. He’s simply not convinced by the “conclusive” evidence that Russia was responsible for hacking and leaking DNC emails.
In an interview with the New York Times, Trump calls the investigation a “political witch hunt.” The president-elect said the hubbub surrounding the Russian hacking is merely fodder for sore losers who hated to see him win. He also acted pretty casual and referred to the U.S. as the “hacking capital of the world.” Here’s more:
“They got beaten very badly in the election. I won more counties in the election than Ronald Reagan. They are very embarrassed about it … China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names. How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt. With all that being said, I don’t want countries to be hacking our country. They’ve hacked the White House. They’ve hacked Congress. We’re like the hacking capital of the world.”
Trump has continually voiced his doubts about the validity of Russia hacking the U.S. and possibly influencing the election. He also chooses not to trust intelligence officials who are providing him with the information, instead believing Julian Assange on Fox News. The president-elect’s feelings come as he is seemingly looking to start his own witch hunt. On Friday, he called for an investigation on how some intelligence leaks are landing at NBC.
Trump is referring to an NBC Nightly News story about how Russian officials reportedly celebrated Trump’s election victory. The Daily Beast reports that Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, said the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence would not divulge the information to him. He said he read about it in the media:
“I can’t get an intelligence person, but I can read one of your publications this morning, who is leaking out this information. I believe the Russians have done very nefarious things. I want to understand to what extent and what the intent is … But then I read in one of your publications what it says, or what portions of it say, it does make it feel political. This shouldn’t be happening.”
In NBC’s defense, Trump has done his own part to postpone security briefings and said he knows more about hacking than anybody.