President-elect Donald Trump watches an Army-Navy NCAA college football game on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2016 in Baltimore. (Andrew Harnik, Associated Press)
Some U.S. Senators disagree with Donald Trump’s views on Russia, both in terms of potential election hacking and a cabinet contender’s ties to Vladimir Putin. Trump discusses his views on climate change and why he has not sat for daily intelligence briefings. Read more in today’s Politics Extra.
Russian intervention: The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election specifically to help Donald Trump win the presidency, a U.S. official confirmed to NPR. “Before there was confidence about the fact that Russia interfered,” the official said. “But there was low confidence on what the direction and intentionality of the interference was. Now they [the CIA] have come to the conclusion that Russia was trying to tip the election to Trump.”
The official added, “The reason the assessment changed is that new information became available” since Oct. 7, when the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement accusing Russia of interfering with the American election process.
Trump says it’s ridiculous: “It’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said of the CIA’s reported assessment on Fox News Sunday. He went so far as to assert, “Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country,” he said. “Every week it’s another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College.”
Prominent senators disagree: Influential senators from both parties amplified calls for an independent investigation of Russian meddling in the U.S. election, reports Politico. Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham issued a joint statement Sunday with the incoming Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, and top Armed Services Committee Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island that Russian interference in the election “should alarm every American.” They said Congress must investigate further without allowing it to become a partisan issue.
Tillerson for SOS: ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson is the leading candidate for Secretary of State in Trump’s incoming administration, multiple sources familiar with the transition told CNN. “He is much more than a business executive. He is a world class player. He is in charge of, I guess, the largest company in the world,” Trump said on Fox News Sunday. “And to me, a great advantage is that he knows many of the players. And he knows them well.”
Tillerson and Russia: “He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals – for the company, not for himself,” Trump said on Fox News Sunday. He echoed those…