We all deserve an explanation on what is going on here. The Congressman expressed the thoughts of many Americans right now and hopefully, because of this, we will get some answers.
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee has written to the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, asking why this week’s reports by the CIA that Russia did hack Democratic campaign documents contradicts what the agency was saying three weeks ago.
Congressman Devin Nunes, a Republican from California, has written to Clapper asking for an urgent briefing on the matter.
Last month Clapper said he lacked ‘good insight’ about the connection between Russian hacking of Democratic emails and their release by WikiLeaks.
In the letter Nunes writes: ‘On November 17, 2016 you told the Committee during an open hearing that the intelligence community lacked strong evidence connecting Russian government Cyber-attacks and Wikileaks disclosures.’
But on Friday the Washington Post reported that a secret CIA assessment had concluded that Russia had interfered in the race to boost Trump, although the agency did not have ‘specific intelligence’ showing Kremlin involvement.
President-elect Donald Trump hit out at the CIA report and said there was no evidence Russia had done anything to help him win the presidency at the expense of Hillary Clinton, who had been promising a tough line with Moscow.
Today Trump announced Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil and a friend of Vladimir Putin, as his pick for Secretary of State.
It comes amid speculation that Trump will push for the lifting of sanctions on Russia, which were imposed in 2014 after Putin annexed Crimea after a proxy war with Ukraine.
House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan has also released a statement saying he supports an investigation the House Intelligence Committee has already started on cyber-threats posed by foreign countries and extremist groups.
Ryan said any Russian intervention was ‘especially problematic because under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests’.
Underscoring the possible collisions ahead between Trump and the men leading his party in Congress, McConnell and Ryan struck tones markedly more confrontational toward Russia than he has.
When he made his appearance at the House Intelligence Committee, Clapper told Congressman Adam Schiff: ‘As far as the WikiLeaks connection, the evidence there is not as strong and we don’t have good insight into the sequencing of the releases or when the data may have been provided. We don’t have as good insight into that.’