Reid: Russian hacking ‘as big a deal’ as 9/11, Watergate

Reid: Russian hacking ‘as big a deal’ as 9/11, Watergate
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidOPINION | 5 ways Democrats can win back power in the states THE MEMO: Trump's base cheers attacks on McConnell It's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him MORE (D-Nev.) says Russian hacking during this presidential election cycle is as significant as the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Watergate scandal and called for a special commission to investigate.

“I think this is as big a deal as Watergate, as 9/11,” he told BuzzFeed at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Tuesday. "I think they should have a 9/11-type commission. I know that [Sens.] Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinTrump's Democratic tax dilemma Feinstein: Trump immigration policies 'cruel and arbitrary' The Memo: Could Trump’s hard line work on North Korea? MORE [D-Calif.], Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCongress should think twice on the Israel Anti-Boycott Act Don’t let Congress amend the First Amendment Federal anti-BDS legislation – Common sense and constitutional MORE [D-Md.] and others are calling for that. I think it’s a step in the right direction. This is a scandal that’s been uncovered.

“The Russians leaked information in a timely fashion to WikiLeaks, also another foreign entity, in an effort to sway the election. I don’t think there’s much question about that.”

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Reid added both media reporting and the intelligence community suggest Russian interference helped Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents A history lesson on the Confederacy for President Trump GOP senator: Trump hasn't 'changed much' since campaign MORE become the president-elect.

“You don’t need to have briefings from the CIA and other intelligence agencies to know what is going on,” he said. "All you have to do is read the press.

“To think that [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin has such good relations with the president-elect and now his new secretary of State,’” Reid added, referring to Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson and his past business with Moscow.

A CIA assessment has concluded that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help Trump win the White House.

Intelligence agencies have identified various individuals who helped the Russian government leak hacked documents from several Democratic sources to WikiLeaks, according to reports last Friday.

Compromised sources included the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonAssange meets U.S. congressman, vows to prove Russia did not leak him documents High-ranking FBI official leaves Russia probe OPINION | Steve Bannon is Trump's indispensable man — don't sacrifice him to the critics MORE’s campaign manager.

Trump has fiercely rejected assessments that Russia aided his presidential bid, calling such conclusions “ridiculous” during an interview aired Sunday.

“I don’t believe it,” he said in the “Fox News Sunday” interview. "I think it’s just another excuse. Every week it’s another excuse."