Local News

Actions

Momentum for Russian hacking investigation grows amid Trump pushback

Posted: 2:11 PM, Dec 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-12-12 19:33:49-05

Four senators, two Democrats and two Republicans, are now calling for an investigation into possible Russian interference in the presidential election. According to a bombshell Washington Post article, the CIA believes Russia interfered to help put Donald Trump in the White House.

"What the four of us intend this investigation to look at is foreign governments' hacking of American institutions, political and otherwise," said incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaking on behalf of himself and Senators Jack Reed, D-RI, John McCain, R-AZ, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC.

According to the Washington Post, when White House officials took their initial concerns over Russian hacking to the Senate in September, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, doubted the intelligence. On Monday he pushed back against that report, saying "The Russians are not our friends."

"It defies belief that somehow Republicans in the Senate are reluctant to either review Russian tactics or ignore them," McConnell told reporters.

With McConnell now on board, a bipartisan investigation could proceed when Congress returns to session on January 3.

"The goal is to find out how extensive this is, how deep it is, which countries are doing it, it won't be limited to just Russia, and then to come up with conclusions how to stop it," Schumer said over the weekend.

In a statement, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-WI, implicitly warned Democrats to stick to figuring out how to prevent future mischief rather than to revisit or challenge the election results themselves.

"[E]xploiting the work of our intelligence community for partisan purposes does a grave disservice to those professionals and potentially jeopardizes our national security. As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election," Speaker Ryan said.

On Fox News Sunday, President-Elect Trump made unsubstantiated assertions to cast doubt on the report.

"I'm not sure [the CIA] put it out. I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country," Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace.

Trump went on to say that the CIA has "no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody, it could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace." That echoed his response to Secretary Hillary Clinton during their first presidential debate when she pointed out that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies believed Russia had a hand in hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails that WikiLeaks released over the summer.