The White House isn't splitting hairs on this CIA Trump/Russia revelations, outright saying that Donald Trump knew full well he was benefiting from Putin's propaganda machine.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said there’s no denying Trump benefitted from Russian hacking of political organizations during the campaign season.
“You didn’t need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyber activity,” Earnest said during the daily press briefing.“The president-elect didn’t call it into question," he continued. "He certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on.”
Earnest rattled off a long list of reported ties between Trump’s team and Russia, suggesting that members of Congress and the public knew of those connections before the election.
The spokesman also threw the White House’s support behind a congressional effort to investigate the claims, which came to light last Friday in a Washington Post report.
President Obama last week directed the intelligence community to compile a report into Russian hacking tied to U.S. elections. Earnest said the results could aid congressional investigators.
He noted that the only information published from the hacks, which reportedly hit Democratic and Republican groups, pertained to Democrats.
“It’s all information that is, as far as I can tell, undisputed,” Earnest said. “One conclusion it does lead me to is the special responsibility that members of Congress have to take a close look at this. Particularly those members of Congress who endorsed Trump in the elections.”He said some Republican lawmakers backing Trump are “wringing their hands about this” effort.
“I think they should spare us the hand-wringing and fulfill their basic responsibility, since the bar has been raised, based on their political choices.”
This is some pretty explosive stuff from the White House here. They're loaded for bear on this and absolutely signaling a fight here. So are Senate Democrats led by the outgoing Harry Reid (for now.)
In an exit interview with the Huffington Post, Senate Minority Harry Reid (D-NV) said that he believes that the Trump campaign was "in on" efforts to damage Hillary Clinton's campaign by using WikiLeaks.
“Someone in the Trump campaign organization was in on the deal. I have no doubt. Now, whether they told [Trump] or not, I don’t know. I assume they did. But there is no question about that,” Reid told the Huffington Post in an interview. “So there is collusion there, clearly.”
If you were somehow under the impression that the White House was going to soft-pedal this and be polite? Hell no. And good for them. I am definitely hoping some of this evidence gets declassified and given to reporters, the sooner the better.