In a Friday tweet, former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates claimed that President Trump’s refusal to accept that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election “insults” the intelligence community and “hinders our ability to prevent” such attacks in the future.
POTUS’ inexplicable refusal to confirm Russian election interference insults career intel pros & hinders our ability to prevent in future.
— Sally Yates (@SallyQYates) July 7, 2017
The tweet was the second posted by Yates since her dismissal from the Justice Department in January over her refusal to enforce the first version of Trump’s travel ban.
Yates asserted that the ban was unconstitutional. Following court defeats, Trump abandoned the initial executive order for a second, more tempered revision, which is scheduled for review by the Supreme Court.
During his visit to Poland Thursday, Trump was asked by a reporter about the hacking of Democratic organizations in the 2016 election.
“I think it was Russia, but I think it was probably other people and/or countries, I see nothing wrong with that statement. Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure.”
U.S. intelligence agencies have blamed the hacks on the Russians.
Trump supported his skepticism by referring to the debate over the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
“I remember when I was sitting back listening about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, how everybody was 100 percent certain that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Guess what? That led to one big mess. They were wrong, and it led to a mess.”
The Hill interviewed experts who believe that Trump’s statements could be detrimental to his relationships with members of the intelligence community and ultimately hinder U.S. cyber-security.
“He not just in a minority anymore,” with his view on Russian interference in the election said Laura Galante, senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Cyber Statecraft Initiative and the former director of global intelligence at FireEye.
“He’s in an extreme minority. The people who study this field are not just strongly convinced but in complete clarity.”
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