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 ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat 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 FeinsteinSenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP senator surprises top Dem with birthday cake MORE [D-Calif.], Ben CardinBen CardinOvernight Cybersecurity: Trump tweetstorm on Russia probe | White House reportedly pushing to weaken sanctions bill | Podesta to testify before House Intel Senate expected to pass Russia sanctions bill for a second time Donna Brazile: Congress has duty to halt Trump on Russia sanctions 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 TrumpKobach fined over Trump meeting memo OPINION: Dear media, Americans don't care about Obama's legacy Make America’s classroom and workplaces safe again 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 ClintonFormer Obama advisor calls Fox ‘state sanctioned media’ Biden rips Senate GOP healthcare bill, says it 'isn't about healthcare' Clinton: If Republicans pass ObamaCare repeal, 'they're the death party' 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."