Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Russia | hacking | evidence | intelligence | community

Spicer: Russian Hacking Evidence Must 'Come Out Publicly'


By    |   Thursday, 29 Dec 2016 03:44 PM

The intelligence community must publicly reveal the information they have about Russian hacking, according to incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer during a Thursday appearance on CNN with Jake Tapper.

"If we're going to make such broad-sweeping claims about the involvement of anybody, and the legitimacy of the election, then I think we need to have the intelligence community come forward publicly, and on the record, and make it clear exactly how this happened and who is responsible for it," said Spicer, senior communications adviser to the presidential transition team and chief strategist for the Republican National Committee.

"Right now, we continue to get unsourced media accounts for what the activity is. I think that's not acceptable. If truly there is someone to blame, I think we should have congress notified, go through the appropriate congressional hearings, get the intelligence community to come out publicly . . . with the findings they have."

Tapper said Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pointed out their colleagues in the Senate are "almost unanimous" in agreeing Russia was behind the hacks, and they plan to develop sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Will President Trump veto a measure put forward by the U.S. Senate calling for sanctions because of this hacking?" Tapper asked.

The incoming press secretary said, "It's not a question of veto," then moved back to calling for public release of the information.

"We need to get to the bottom of what the intelligence is," Spicer said. "I think the intelligence community has in the past gone out and laid out the case for what's going on and who's behind certain activities. It's incumbent upon them for something as serious as this to do the same."

Host Tapper questioned why the information needed to be made public, and noted Trump gets the intelligence briefings.

"Presumably, he's being told why the intelligence community feels the way it does," Tapper said.

Spicer responded, "If they believe so strongly that they want the United States to act, I think to some degree without necessarily receiving all the sources and methods, that there is a degree of public on the record statement that the intelligence community should make."

Spicer added, "Why do we take all these unnamed media sources and say that we must react in a certain way when the intelligence community has in the past come out very publicly and made it clear what the conclusions are. Why in this case, when it's Donald Trump who's the person who should – the presumption should be on him to conclude something that the intelligence community isn't willing to come out publicly and say? I think the burden of proof right now is on them to come out and state publicly."

Spicer turned to election systems being hacked, but Tapper said the topic was the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign manager John Podesta's private conversations were being made public. Spicer questioned whether the DNC had been questioned about its methods in protecting its own data.

"It seems to me there's a lot of talk about the DNC not doing what they should have done to protect their own network servers . . . No one seems to have done the due diligence at the DNC to protect their own systems," he said.

The host agreed with Spicer, saying, "I don't think there's any question they did a horrible job."

Then he asked when Trump would hold a "full-fledged" press conference to publicly answer questions. Spicer said a press conference would be held in mid-January, and pointed out the president-elect did a New York Times interview and conducts a daily press call.

"Let's not act like we're hiding anything," Spicer said. ". . . he's gone out and talked to the media several times, took numerous questions."

Also, Spicer appeared on Hugh Hewitt's radio show Thursday and said Trump has a "no fear attitude" about dealing with the media.

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The intelligence community must publicly reveal the information they have about Russian hacking, according to incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer during a Thursday appearance on CNN with Jake Tapper.
hacking, evidence, intelligence, community
Thursday, 29 Dec 2016 03:44 PM
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