Conway: Trump ‘respects the intelligence community’
President-elect Donald Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said Monday morning that her boss “respects the intelligence community,” a claim that comes less than 24 hours after Trump told an interviewer that the intelligence community’s assessment of Russian hacking into the U.S. election process was “ridiculous.”
A Washington Post report published last week cited a U.S. official who said that it is the “consensus view” of the intelligence community that Russian cyberattacks against American political targets were intended to help install Trump as the next president. That report followed one in mid-October from 17 federal intelligence agencies stating that Russia was behind hacking attacks inside the U.S.
Trump has disputed those reports and contended that the perpetrator of those attacks, and their motives, remain open questions within the intelligence community. In an interview taped over the weekend, Trump told “Fox News Sunday” that reports that Russia sought to help him win the White House are “ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.”
The president-elect also suggested that those reports might have been leaked by “very embarrassed” Democrats. Monday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Conway made the same argument.
“Let’s be fair. That’s what this is for many people. First it was Jim Comey’s fault. Then let’s have a recount that wasted millions of dollars and everybody’s time that went nowhere,” she said. “Then it’s Russian interference. Then it’s a bunch of people in a movement that we have disavowed many times. How about it just was Hillary Clinton and the message?”
Conway, who managed Trump’s campaign to victory, said the Manhattan billionaire took issue only with the notion that he had won because of Russian help, an argument that differs from what the president-elect has said in the past. She said Trump’s campaign would not oppose the proposed Congressional investigations on foreign interference in last month’s presidential election.
“What he said yesterday is what he is calling laughable and ridiculous, George, is the specific conclusion that what Russia did led to his victory and Hillary Clinton’s defeat. That’s where our beef is. He respects the intelligence community. He’s going to be president of the United States,” she told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos.