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Cummings: Probes Needed on Hacking, Trump Businesses

Image: Cummings: Probes Needed on Hacking, Trump Businesses

Rep. Elijah Cummings (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

By    |   Friday, 16 Dec 2016 08:48 AM

Rep. Elijah Cummings Friday called for a "9/11-type commission" to investigate reports of Russia's hacking, and for an ethics probe into President-elect Donald Trump's massive business holdings.

"I have said it for weeks, that this is a struggle for the soul of our democracy," the Maryland Democrat told CNN "New Day" anchor Chris Cuomo. "We're seeing all of our institutions being attacked, even our election system, the FBI, the CIA, and so, there is a real crisis of legitimacy."

Friday, Trump referred in a tweet about the Russian cyberattacks to the information that was released — not about the attack's perpetrators, Cuomo pointed out.



A statement was made on Oct. 7, when the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement that the hacks could only have been done with the authorization of "Russia's senior most" officials, and were done to undermine the election's integrity.

However, Cummings said, the statement came out on the same day as the Billy Bush tape, when Trump was caught on a hot mic making lewd comments about women, so "it kind of got snowed under."

Overall, the Maryland congressman said "we're clear" on Russian hacking, and that it "goes up to the highest levels of the Russian government."

"This is like a 9/11 for us," said Cummings, "and we should be addressing it in a very serious and must be an independent way . . .we have no time for partisanship here."

Meanwhile, Cummings also wants Trump to "divest himself" of his business interests and "put them in a blind trust."

"When we go into government, we go into government knowing we have to make major sacrifices," Cummings said. "He knew, he ran for president. He bragged about running for president. He talked about the fact that he wasn't worried about money and now it's time for him to govern."

Trump said earlier this week that sons Eric and Donald Jr. will be in charge of running his businesses and that he would not be involved, but Cummings has his doubts.

"We cannot have the president of the United States sitting in meetings with his kids who are also his transition assistants and running his business sitting in, for example, the other day with the tech industry folk," Cummings said. "Keep in mind, he's got at least 111 companies operating in 18 countries. And, so, he knew all of this when he went into it."

Also, said Cummings, it is not known exactly what Trump's business holdings include because he refuses to turn over his tax returns.

"We don't have a clue of all the conflicts that are facing us," Cummings said. "We're talking about a question of legitimacy of our institutions. Here you're going to have the president making decisions on all kinds of issues. We do know that he's gotten a lot of Russian money because he couldn't get certain loans here in the United States. So, a disproportionate amount of money is coming from Russia. We know that. It's not just Russia, it's all over the world. He knew this. He knew this when he came into it."

Trump is now an employee of the people of the United States, Cummings continued, and that means there are certain rules.

"We want to know when he makes decisions anywhere that is not just to line his pockets or a major incentive for him to do those deals," Cummings said. "Things have not been as transparent as they need to be."

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Rep. Elijah Cummings Friday called for a 9/11-type commission to investigate reports of Russia's hacking, and for an ethics probe into President-elect Donald Trump's massive business holdings.
elijah cummings, donald trump, russia, hacking, donald trump, business
Friday, 16 Dec 2016 08:48 AM
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