In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Donald Trump’s incoming chief of staff and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said that the president-elect would be willing to accept a report on Russian hacking of Democrat email accounts if all of the intelligence agencies were willing to write a consensus report about the hacking.
“I think he would accept the conclusion if they would get together, put out a report and show the American people they are on the same page,” Priebus said.
Priebus also said that no matter who did the hacking, it was unlikely that anything changed the results of the election.
“There’s no evidence that shows the outcome of the elections was changed by a couple of dozen John Podesta emails,” Priebus said.
Asked whether he thought that the various agencies would reach a consensus and deliver a report, Priebus responded, “I think they’ll get there.”
Priebus also said he remained wary about reports that FBI Director James Comey agreed with the assessment that Russia was definitively behind the hacking.
“Not when you have multiple people saying different things through third parties and media reports,” Priebus said. “It would be nice to hear from everybody.”
Priebus’ comments indicated that Trump could be willing to embrace a report saying that lax security within the Democrat Party let Russians hack information but that it wasn’t necessarily used to specifically help Trump or hack the election. Events of the past few weeks seem to have pointed in that direction.
Thursday, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that “(w)e didn’t see the sort of technical interference that I know people had concerns about, also, in terms of voting machines and the like” from Russia, according to RealClearPolitics.
Also, Reuters reported that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the body that oversees the 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, hadn’t bought the CIA’s assessment that Russia had directed the hacking specifically to help Donald Trump win the election.
“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” one anonymous official said. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”
Unless those views change significantly, a consensus report from intelligence agencies would likely not state — as some anonymous CIA sources reportedly have — that Russian interference was specifically intended to make Donald Trump president. And it would draw attention to the laxity of Democrat security that triggered this whole mess.
Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
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