Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says the fact that FBI and CIA disagree over Republican National Committee hack shows need for investigation, expresses concern over possible Russian interference in U.S. presidential election.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 11, 2016) (NBC – At a news conference in New York, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer on Sunday (December 11) said the fact that the FBI and CIA disagree over Republican National Committee hack shows need for investigation.
“The fact that the CIA and FBI disagree shows the need for a bipartisan investigation that gets to the bottom of this. The investigation should be tough strong and bipartisan and should have access to all materials classified and not,” Schumer said.
Schumer and fellow Senator Jack Reed joined Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham in expressing concern over possible Russian interference in a U.S. presidential election and said they will work together to investigate such cyber attacks.
“Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American,” he said reading a written statement. “This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump rejected as “ridiculous” the reported U.S. intelligence findings that Russia intervened in the presidential election on his behalf through targeted hacking, according to an interview broadcast.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said in the interview with “Fox News Sunday.”
He blamed Democrats for putting out the media reports and said he did not believe they came from the Central Intelligence Agency.
Trump’s dismissal was perhaps aimed at squashing doubts about whether he won the Nov. 8 election fairly. However, his comments could also portend conflicts between the new president and the intelligence agencies he will command and feed criticism that his administration will be soft on Russia.
In his search for a secretary of state nominee, the Republican real estate magnate is strongly considering Exxon Mobil Corp Chief Executive Rex Tillerson, who has close ties with Moscow and has spoken out against U.S. sanctions on Russia.
U.S. intelligence agencies have told Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama that Russia has grown increasingly aggressive in Syria and Ukraine and has stepped up activities in cyberspace including meddling, sometimes covertly, in European and U.S. elections.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told Reuters intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that not only did their Russian counterparts direct the hacking of Democratic Party organizations and leaders, but they did so to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election.
Trump advisers disputed elements of the news reports, focusing particularly on a New York Times story saying that intelligence officials concluded the computer systems of the Republican National Committee also had been hacked. The fact that material from that intrusion had not been released, the Times reported, supported the conclusion that Russia was trying to help Trump.