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 ReidTop Lobbyists 2017: Grass roots Boehner confronted Reid after criticism from Senate floor GOP in uncharted territory rolling back rules through resolutions 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 Emiel FeinsteinSenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE [D-Calif.], Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinFacebook farce shows lawmaker deviousness, demagoguery Dem senator wants details on Manafort's multiple passports US backs out of global oil anti-corruption effort 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 TrumpDems win from coast to coast Falwell after Gillespie loss: 'DC should annex' Northern Virginia Dems see gains in Virginia's House of Delegates 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 Diane Rodham ClintonGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore Papadopoulos was in regular contact with Stephen Miller, helped edit Trump speech: report Bannon jokes Clinton got her ‘ass kicked’ in 2016 election 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."