In light of the newly released intelligence report about Russia’s efforts to influence the election, the Trump transition team has had to alter their talking points. Instead of casting doubt on the intelligence reports’ accuracy, incoming presidential aides are now pointing the finger of blame at the victims, specifically John Podesta and the DNC.
In an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Reince Priebus immediately pivoted to these new talking points when pressed by the host if the president-elect now accepts that Russians were behind the hacks, but stopped short of “pointing the finger” at the government.
“I mean, [President-Elect Trump is] not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular campaign,” he said. Wallace eventually forced–by repeating the same question–that Russia was the “foreign entity” behind the hack.
The incoming White House Chief of Staff then tried to paint the DNC as the truly responsible party for not protecting itself it more.
We have the DNC as a sitting duck. So, if you have a person — wait a second, because it matters to your point. It matters because if the DNC allows any foreign entity into their system, says, here is 50,000 emails, you can have them. Well, voila!
Now, you have the biggest dissemination of emails that we’ve ever seen in the history of America because we have a revolving door at the DNC.
Wallace then asked if the president-elect also accepts the conclusion that, eventually, they seemed to support his election over Clinton’s. However, Priebus hasn’t discussed that with President-Elect Trump, apparently. He went on to say that this is “not the issue,” because Trump accepts that “entities” in Russia were involved.
When asked about what the Trump administration plans to do in response to this, Priebus deflected poorly. He said that the intelligence community will make “recommendations” that will be “discussed,” but hedged on whether or not “actions may be taken.”
As we’ve reported, this odd response to these questions seems to indicate that the president-elect is mostly concerned about how this effects him. Either for political (i.e. mandate to govern) or personal reasons (i.e. “ego”) the president-elect appears to be fighting this point because he feels it delegitimizes his election victory.
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