Donald Trump insults intelligence agencies on Twitter, gets information from Julian Assange instead

After slamming the intelligence agencies he's supposed to rely on, Trump trusted a Hannity interview instead

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published January 4, 2017 12:46PM (EST)


President-elect Donald Trump seems quite determined to discredit the intelligence community's conclusion that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin ordered hackers to help him get elected.

He also seems to trust WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange — whose history strongly suggests ties with the Putin regime — over his own intelligence agencies.

Trump's tweets have reportedly sparked confusion among America's intelligence officials, who said that there was no delay in the briefing schedule — which was always scheduled for Friday, according to an Associated Press report on Wednesday morning. Aside from increasing suspicions that Trump is avoiding facts that may damage his self-image or discredit his election victory, there are also concerns that his attitude could harm his relationship with the intelligence community.

"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you," said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Tuesday. "So even for a practical supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this."
Incidentally, as Mark Berman of The Washington Post has pointed out in a series of tweets since December, the Trump Team's initial reasoning for not believing that Russia was involved in the hacking was that they didn't think the intelligence agencies were on the "same page" and wanted to see the information directly. Now the Trump position is to still dispute Russia's involvement despite the intelligence community's consensus and desire to share their findings with Trump.

 CNN's Jim Sciutto had a number of similar observations in a series of tweets also sent out on Tuesday evening.

It remains to be seen how Trump will respond once he receives his intelligence briefing on Friday.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Russian Hacking