Business & Lobbying

Obama hopes Trump will cool tensions with intelligence community


President Obama on Thursday expressed hope that President-elect Donald Trump will cool tensions with the intelligence community after he reviews its findings on Russian hacking.

“My hope is that when the president-elect receives his own briefings and is able to examine the intelligence, as his team is put together and they see how professional and effective these agencies are, that some of those current tensions will be reduced,” he said in an interview with Chicago television station WMAQ.

The comments were Obama’s first since receiving a comprehensive classified report from U.S. intelligence officials on Russian cyberattacks tied to the 2016 elections.

{mosads}Asked if he has full confidence in the report, Obama responded “yes.”

“I can speak to my own experience; it’s going to be important that the president and the intelligence communities are both working based on the best possible information,” the president said.

Trump is scheduled to receive his own briefing on the report Friday. Members of Congress will get a classified briefing on Monday, before an unclassified version of the report is released.

Once it is published, the report is expected to fuel the ongoing debate over the degree to which the Russian government disrupted the 2016 election.

The CIA accuses the Kremlin of interfering in an attempt to help Trump win.

But Trump and his allies have disputed that conclusion, calling it an effort to delegitimize his victory in November. 

He has repeatedly questioned the abilities of the intelligence agencies he will soon lead.

“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.



That position has irked the Obama administration and influential Republican lawmakers, who have a more hawkish approach toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

But in a string of tweets Thursday morning, Trump called the notion he is opposed to intelligence community an invention of the media.

“The dishonest media likes saying that I am in Agreement with Julian Assange – wrong. I simply state what he states, it is for the people to make up their own minds as to the truth,” he wrote. “The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!”



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