Finally: Trump Accepts CIA Report On Russia’s Involvement In Election Hacks

After initially denying that Russia was involved in cyber attacks targeting the U.S. election, President-elect Donald Trump has accepted the U.S. intelligence report.

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According to Reince Priebus in an interview with Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff, the President-elect has accepted the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was behind the cyber attacks during the presidential election. Priebus also stated that the President-elect may take further action against Russia in response to the cyber attacks.

What isn’t clear is whether or not Trump believes the cyber attacks were ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The President-elect has not yet made his thoughts in this known.

In the past, Trump has expressed skepticism about the intelligence community’s claims. It seems that after their meeting the intelligence agencies were able to convince the President-elect that their conclusions were true.

Trump’s Previous Statements On The Report

Previously, the Trump had stated that he was skeptical of the intelligence community’s claims about Russia’s involvements in the cyber attacks that targeted the Democratic National Committee. He had claimed that the hacking could have been carried out by China or a 400-pound hacker living in his mother’s basement.

He also had some very harsh words regarding the competency of the U.S. intelligence community. He even appeared to side with Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. Assange has stated that the information he received did not come from the Russian government.

On January 3rd, Trump tweeted the following:

“The “Intelligence” briefing on so-called “Russian hacking” was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

The intelligence agencies maintains that the meeting had always been set for Friday the 6th.

The majority of Republicans have accepted the intelligence community’s report. They have urged the President-elect to accept the findings of the report.

The Intelligence Report

Last week, the U.S. intelligence report found that the Russian government initiated cyber attacks that were designed to influence the U.S. presidential election. According to the report, these attacks were ordered by Russian president Vladimir Putin.

The report also concluded that the purpose of the cyber attacks were to undermine the United States’ electoral process and swing the election in favor of Donald Trump. However, the report did not say whether or not the attacks actually influenced the election. As a matter of fact,

The report, commissioned by Democratic President Barack Obama in December, concluded vote tallies were not affected by Russian interference, but did not assess whether it influenced the outcome of the vote in other ways. The report did find that there was no evidence of tampering with voting machines.

What Will Happen Next?

There hasn’t been much said as to what else will happen in response to the Russian cyber attacks. President Obama has already taken action against the Russian government in retaliation.

Trump has said that he plans to put together a team that will give him a recommendation on how to handle Russia going forward. He has also said that there is nothing wrong with trying to have a good relationship with Russia as well as other countries.

There are many people in the Republican party who want Trump to go further than Obama did in reaction to Russia’s hacking. They believe that Russia should be punished more severely. Sen. Lindsey Graham has repeatedly expressed his opinion on what Trump should do.

“You should let everybody know in American, Republicans and Democrats, that you’re going to make Russia pay a price for trying to interfere.”

President-elect Trump will be weighing his options on Russia in the months to come.

 

Sources: Reuters, Slate, The Atlantic