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Trump: Only ‘stupid’ people, fools oppose better Russia ties

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    A part of the declassified version Intelligence Community Assessment on Russia’s efforts to interfere with the U.S. political process is photographed in Washington.

NEW YORK >> President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday that “only ‘stupid’ people or fools” would dismiss closer ties with Russia, and he seemed unswayed after his classified briefing on an intelligence report that accused Moscow of meddling on his behalf in the election that catapulted him to power.

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said in a series of tweets.

He added, “We have enough problems without yet another one,” and said Russians would respect “us far more” under his administration than they do with Barack Obama in the White House.

Trump repeatedly has questioned the assessment by American intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, and a classified report presented to him Friday seemed to have little changed his thinking.

The report explicitly tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to election meddling and said that Moscow had a “clear preference” for Republican Trump in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But Trump tweeted that with the many global issues confronting the United States, it doesn’t need testy ties with Russia on the list. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad” to have a good relationship, he said, and suggested his approach might allow the adversaries to work together to solve “some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

Even as intelligences officials looked back in their reports on the election, they also made a troublesome prediction: Russia isn’t done intruding in U.S. politics and policymaking.

Immediately after the Nov. 8 election, Russia began a “spear-phishing” campaign to try to trick people into revealing their email passwords, targeting U.S. government employees and think tanks that specialize in national security, defense and foreign policy, the report said.

The report was the most detailed public account to date of Russian efforts to hack the email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and individual Democrats, among them Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

The unclassified version said Russian government provided emails to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks even though the website’s founder, Julian Assange, has denied that it got the emails it released from the Russian government. The report noted that the emails could have been passed through middlemen.

Russia also used state-funded propaganda and paid “trolls” to make nasty comments on social media services, the report said. Moreover, intelligence officials believe that Moscow will apply lessons learned from its activities in the election to put its thumbprint on future elections in the United States and allied nations.

The public report was minus classified details that intelligence officials shared with President Barack Obama on Thursday.

In a brief interview with The Associated Press on Friday, Trump said he “learned a lot” from his discussions with intelligence officials, but he declined to say whether he accepted their assertion that Russia had intruded in the election on his behalf.

After finally seeing the intelligence behind the claims of the outgoing Obama administration, Trump released a one-page statement that did not address whether Russia sought to meddle. Instead, he said, “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election” and that there “was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

Intelligence officials have never made that claim. And the report stated that the Department of Homeland Security did not think that the systems that were targeted or compromised by Russian actors were “involved in vote tallying.”

The report released publicly lacked details about how the U.S. learned what it said it knows, such as any intercepted conversations or electronic messages among Russian leaders, including Putin, or about specific hacker techniques or digital tools the U.S. may have traced back to Russia in its investigations. Exactly how the U.S. monitors its adversaries in cyberspace is a closely guarded secret. Revealing such details could help foreign governments further obscure their activities.

The unclassified version included footnotes acknowledging that it “does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.” It said its conclusions were identical to the classified version, which was more detailed.

The unclassified report said the Russian effort was both political and personal.

“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency,” it said. “We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Clinton because he blames her for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he resents her for disparaging comments she has made about him, the report said.

Before the intelligence agencies completed their assessment, Obama announced sanctions against Russia. Trump has not said whether he will undo them once he takes office, but lawmakers are calling for more punitive measures against Russia and have little to no appetite to roll back any current sanctions.

Trump said he would appoint a team within three months of taking office to develop a plan to “aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks.”

On Saturday, he said he wanted retired Sen. Dan Coats to be national intelligence director, describing the former member of the Senate Intelligence Committee as the right person to lead the new administration’s “ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm.”

Coats, in a statement released by Trump’s transition team, said: “There is no higher priority than keeping America safe, and I will utilize every tool at my disposal to make that happen.”

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  • Putin couldn’t have imagined that hacking the election would turn out this well. I’m looking forward to a re-make of “The Manchurian Candidate,” which will be updated to 2017 and re-titled “The Siberian Candidate.”

      • CEI, Trump is the president-elect. Obama is on the way out, Hillary is not in the picture, Lincoln died a few years ago. It’s time to talk about Trump.

        Time to ask him if he’s going to deliver ANY of his campaign promises to you. Time to ask if he owes the Russians a favor for influencing the election in his favor. Time to check if he remembers whatever he said about it yesterday.

        Time to MAGA!

        • MM: There’s an increasing body of evidence that the Russians did indeed hack the election. Unfortunately they got their signals crossed and influenced the election is such a way that Waldo would win the popular vote instead of the electoral vote. Yes they have egg on their faces because of the screw up but they’ll never admit it.

        • No, they did not ingeniously influence the election so that Hillary would win the popular vote and Trump would win the electoral vote. That’s tin-hat territory.

          The Russians’ selected email hacks and fake news were just enough to turn a few million undecideds and undereducateds from Clinton to Trump. It was still close enough that she won the popular vote. If the Russians had not meddled, she would have won both the popular and electoral votes. People of normal education and intelligence can see that.

          How worried are you that the Russians CELEBRATED your man Trump winning? Does he even suspect that they wanted him in for their own purposes? Do you think they respect a guy who thinks he knows more about national security than all the generals and the intelligence community? Or do you think they see a doofus they can have their way with?

          Please answer the above four questions.

        • “If the Russians had not meddled, she would have won both the popular and electoral votes. People of normal education and intelligence can see that.”

          Perhaps people of superior intelligence take a more informed and less myopic view of what went on.

        • IRT CEI: Like a previous post where YOU stated the Russians didn’t know about the Electoral College…No Google on their internet??? #MAGA

        • MM: Get a grip dude. That steady diet of far left agitprop you’re on is turning your brain to mush. So Waldo and Barry’s Russian reset didn’t work out the way it was supposed to. It’s no reason to start throwing around baseless hacking charges and ridiculing us low IQ types.

          I’m puzzled why you seem to believe undereducated voters would have voted for Waldo in the first place. Seems to me that undereducated types would vote for Trump hacking or no hacking. After all we all know that only educated and enlightened people knew enough to support Waldo.

        • @MM aka KnuckleDragger
          John Harwood CNBC Tweeted a POLL:
          Who do you trust more..US Intel…or WikiLeaks.
          WikiLeaks 83%
          US Intel. 17%

          January 20 #MAGA

        • CEI and Keoni ignore Trump’s recklessness and change the subject back to Obama and Hilary. This indicates they can’t defend Chump’s groveling.

          I wonder what leverage Putin has over Trump… compromising documents, embarrassing recorded conversations, nasty pics or video… man on girl perhaps… mam on man?

          Whatever it is, Trump’s bowing and scraping makes the USA look weak. Sad. Pathetic.

          #MAGA? (Make America Grovel Again?)

      • Does anyone else see the connection of why Trump and the Republicans want to be friends with Putin and the Russians. Big oil and gas, namely Exxon Mobil, has a huge oil and gas business in Russia, providing the technical and logistical expertise to Putin for the development of oil and gas in the Russian Arctic and in Siberia. Exxon Mobil and Putin cannot sell the Russian oil and gas on the international market with all the sanctions placed on Russia after Russia invaded the Ukraine, then aneed Crimea. Rex Tillerson, CEO Exxon Mobil has a $500 billion deal with Putin and the Russians, and was awarded The Order of Friendship by Putin. Trump wants Putin as Secretary of State. Trump and his appointments have denied that climate change and global warming are due to the burning of fossil fuels. This allows the fossil fuel industries to continue to sell gas and oil, and denying it does not harm the environment and cause global warming. The states in the Midwest and South have a lot of fracking, oil and gas development and see Trump as their savior to their oil and gas businesses. Exxon Mobil, Trump, Republican oil and gas states, Putin and the Russians will make huge profits when they are able to sell as much oil and gas once the trade sanction against Russia are lifted. Trump knows this, and will ignore the Russian hacking, so he can make $Billions while in office. Trump’s Art of the Deal is being played out behind the scenes between the oil and gas people, the Republicans, Putin and the Russians

        • During the Russian hacking investigation USA found links to Trumps and the RNC emails that were hidden by the Russians when they released Clintons and DNC emails…Emails were saved for a rainy day…Real reason Trump and RNC wants to play nice with Russia…Self Preservation…#MAGA

        • IRT Vector: It’s deja vu all over again. The left’s favorite whipping boy of big oil and gas. Pretty clever, all you had to do was substitute Exxon Mobil for Haliburton and Rex Tillerson for Dick Cheny. Throw in the climate change/global warming angle and Russian hacking and you hit all the right notes for for the typical bed-wetting progressive.

        • I’m confused as to why so many here express such confidence in the assertions made by our intelligence community, but I’m suspecting the usual partisan “aha!” attitude might be influencing us a bit. Personally, I’m not that familiar with the ins and outs of cybersecurity, and understand that we have to rely on those that seemingly are in order to get any info at all, but I can’t help but remember that the intelligence agencies that are convinced of the Russian hacking are the very same agencies that guaranteed us that Iraq was developing WMD’s.

        • Vector we do it’s the idi-ts who voted for the imbeci-e who don’t but who can blame them because they got scammed big time and have sh-t on their faces. Get the as-hole to release his taxes and the proof will be in the pudding. Morass pudding that is.

      • Trump wants to be friends with Putin and the Russians. Putin and the Russians invaded the Ukraine and annexed Crimea. The slaughter and destruction in Syria, 40 million dead, and 400 million refugees, had the assistance of the Russians and Putin. Now Putin and the Russians have a foothold in Syria. Putin has been threatening Baltic countries like Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Eastern European countries like Romania, Hungary. Putin is also hacking and spreading disinformation in, Germany, France and Italy and affect their democratic governments and elections. At home in Russia, Putin squelches or kills all political opposition, there are no civil rights or liberties, the government is totaltarian, and Putin the head tyrant. And Trump wants to emulate and be friends with Putin. Putin has only one objective to conquer more land and increase his power. Trump cozying up to Putin, is a pact with the Devil

        • Uhhhh, all that bad behavior by the Russians happened on Barry’s watch. Barry’s unbelievably st00pid lead from behind strategy left a giant power vacuum which the Russians, Iranian and Chinese were happy to occupy. Trump was a private citizen minding his own business at the time.

        • CEI stands for “constantly emulating ignorance”. Only a true idi-t would make excuses for what is so obvious even to a grade schooler.

    • I’m going to guess you are referring to those who did not vote for him. I did not vote for him – but I agree 100% with his comment. It is imperative to have good relations with Russia and China. For those who disagree, I can recommend a 101 course over at the UH that will eliminate any ignorance on this subject.

    • I think the half you are referring to are the ones who voted for Clinton.

      Trump was referring to those who did not think it was better to have a good relationship with Russia.
      I would guess that this is most people, and not half.

  • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    He just called half of America ST00PID…I bet the Deplorables of Trump will let that slide though…#MAGA

    Repeating what the President says gets you moderated…Now that’s funny…HAHAHAHA!!!!

  • True, we should always try to work things out positively, rather than making things worse by fighting.

    On the other hand, when there’s a big problem at hand, you need to address it first before being friendly with the guy who’s doing bad things to you. To ignore a huuuge problem, that is STOOPID.

    • Agreed. Big problems with adversaries should be addressed before buddying up and rewarding bad behavior. Which leads me to wonder why Barry al-Hussein and John F’ing Kerry freed up billions for the Iranian mullahs to use for their various terror activities. Then Barry lied about an additional $400 million in untraceable cash paid to the mullahs as ransom. Now that’s ST00PID as you so eloquently put it.

      • The $400 million was money that belonged to the Iranians. We had to give it back; meanwhile, Barack Obama “tied in” the payment, as an extra incentive, with the release of prisoners.

        It’s comparable to using recess as an incentive to get bad students to finish their work. Nowadays, you cannot deny problem students from going to recess; that’s considered a punishment and denial of their right to have recreation and socialize with peers. You can still say, “Ok, Johnny, you can go out and have fun AFTER finishing your worksheet.” He doesn’t have to know that you were going to let him out anyway. But the way you tie work completion and recess together acts as an extra incentive for Johnny.

        You can read more at: http://www.snopes.com/2016/08/03/obama-bribed-iran-400-million-to-release-u-s-prisoners/

        Now, back to Trump. What will he do about the Russian hacking network? It does need to be addressed.

        • MM: Stop digging and get out of the hole. You’re publicly embarrassing yourself

          Snopes? Really?

          As far as Russian hacking goes I suspect that if it is going on we’ll find out in 2 weeks what Trump will do about.

    • General Flynn has been wined and dined by Putin in Russia. So he fully supports Trump’s romance and praise of Putin. Flynn is also known to pEddington stuff like the Pizzagate conspiracy of Hillary and Democrats, where they are trafficking in children, and other right wing nut nonsense

    • Mattis learned from the press that Trump had picked a billionaire stock trader to be Secretary of the Army. Typical of the chaos in the Trump transition.

  • meanwhile obama’s attempts at king making cost qadaffi his life that brought isis to the world power game as islamic terrorists and obama failed again when he sent u.s. tax dollars to fund an israeli political party opposed to the netenyahu election.

    not satisfied with his eight year legacy of failure in international politics, obama gave billions to iran that will be used to fund world wide islamic terrorism.

    no wonder his administration is trying so hard to blame russia for clinton’s landslide loss and amerians’ complete rejection of his culture of corruption.

      • Trumpettes are already missing Obama, their ideological security blanket. Here’s how it has worked:

        Something bad has happened in the world, or in America, or somewhere in the news, and it’s Obama’s fault.

        He’s a Muslim. He’s not one of us.

        He’s too weak. He’s a tyrant.

        He exerted too much power as president. He failed to exert enough power as president.

        He did too much. He did too little.

        Everything that’s wrong in my life and in the world is Obama’s fault.

        Wa-wa-wa…

        Now the country is moving on to Trump administration, and his actions and plans, and the Republican controlled Congress, but the pathetic little Trumpettes are too afraid to respond to Trump’s erratic behavior (the topic of these news stories).

        Like toddlers sucking their thumbs and refusing to budge, they won’t let go of their little psychological blankie and face the here and now.

        Sad. Pathetic.

        #MAGA? (Make America Goo-goo-gaga Again?)

  • Russia also used state-funded propaganda and paid “trolls” to make nasty comments on social media services, the report said.”
    Do we have paid trolls here?

  • WHY wouldn’t the US want to Normalize relations with the Russian People? It’s insane the way The Democrats have been handling Russians’ relations for years.Demonizing ,criticizing them over and over again! Bringing us ever so closer to The Cold War relations we had during the 80s! Now we have a Real Leader! Someone who is going to have to Break The Ice, and yet show our strength,& the respect America deserves.

    I NOT confident (at ALL) that the Democrat elites/Career Politicians could ever accomplish that! And Please,please,please! Stop listening to all of their Noises of DOOM! & That “Hope and Change” stuff ? Hasn’t changed anything,it’s only gotten Worse with the Russians! I mean Look at the last meeting Putin and Obama had. They look like they were ready to start throwing blows, a Slugfest in the “Octagon”! haaaaaaaaaaaaa

    But here we Go again! It has to take a Strong Republican Leader to show how things are done. None of this “Leading from the Behind baloney! The Best example of a Strong Republican president, was Abe Lincoln and in my Life time? It is none other than……….President Ronald Reagan,who too, was an “Outsider”(;ie Trump) & hated by the Democrats,but look what he accomplished with the Russians!

    • Reagan must be turning over in his grave right now watching Trump kiss Putin’s rear and watching conservatives like you siding with Putin and Russia and dissing our intelligence agencies….

    • I’m kind of ticked off by what you’ve posted here MoiLee. Reagan brought Russia to its knees not by kissing its rear like Trump does and not by undermining our own intelligence communities and praising the Russian leader. He did it by pointing out how evil communism is and how evil the Russian leaders are. Putin was a KGB spy when Reagan was President. Don’t ever forget that!

  • While everyone is ripping Trump and The Russians, I like to believe the Russians did us a favor by way of exposing the corruptness and incompetence of Obama his administration and the Democratic party not to mention the lax cyber security. No one in their right mind would willfully hand over their password (PODESTA) without first checking the authenticity of the request. This is just another excuse by Obama and his incompetent party to try and delegitimize Trumps victory. It is time for Obama and the rest of his followers to put on their big boy pants and except the fact that they lost and take responsibility, the only ones to blame is Obama,DNC and that awful Candidate.

  • Russia would kick our asinine if we tried something in Their Backyard. Obama, Kerry, Clinton and the Dumbocrats made sure of that. Obama all talk, no action. Just like the swamp critters of Kawainui Swamp. And, you know who I’m talking about – the whiners.

  • The russians have something on trump. Whether it’s financial or dirty pictures, it will be discovered by our intelligence if trump does not disband it before the truth can come out.
    trump (I refuse to capitalize his name) is not our legitimately elected president. his presidency is as fake as his tweets.

  • “In Donald Trump, the GOP nominated the most pro-Russian U.S. presidential candidate since Henry Wallace, whose 1948 bid on the Progressive Party ticket was largely run by communists. Throughout last year’s campaign, Trump lavished praise on Russian President (and career KGB agent) Vladimir Putin, attacked NATO and encouraged the Kremlin to hack his Democratic opponent’s emails. He even proposed recognizing Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula — the first violent European land grab since World War II — a move that would put the United States in the company of Cuba and North Korea. Since the election, he has openly contradicted the intelligence community’s finding that Moscow tampered in our democracy, calling such claims a ‘political witch-hunt.'” — Washington Post

  • Soon as Obama gets his asinine out of Washington DC peace in Syria? What’s up with that? Kerry and Clinton – 2 fat zeros.
    Maybe people don’t understand about wars and elections – somebody has to win.

    • So it’s bad for Trump to communicate with Russia, but it’s OK for the current President to not only communicate, but send billions of dollars to Iran, a country that is and has been the primary sponsor of terror, or excuse me, workplace violence. Reconcile that for me. Crickets….

      • Grovellong must be Trump’s secret negotiation tactic.

        Mynahbird apparently thinks Obama should have grovelled to Iran, instead of imposing harsh sanctions that forced them to negotiate a halt to their nuclear arms program.

        #MAGA? (Make America Grovel Again?)

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