Cotton responds to Trump: I have more faith in intel officers than Assange

Sen. Tom CottonThomas (Tom) Bryant CottonLawmakers introduce bill to block U.S. companies from doing business with Huawei Five things to know about Iran's breaches of the nuclear deal Hillicon Valley: Trump gets pushback after reversing course on Huawei | China installing surveillance apps on visitors' phones | Internet provider Cloudflare suffers outage | Consumer groups look to stop Facebook cryptocurrency MORE (R-Ark.) on Wednesday said he had more trust in the country's intelligence community than in WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

"I have a lot more faith in our intelligence officers serving around the world, very smart and experienced analysts that we have here in the nation's capital, than I do in people like Julian Assange," Cotton said on MSNBC.

Cotton's comments come after President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE earlier in the day sent a tweet siding with Assange over the intelligence community regarding Russia's meddling in the U.S. presidential election. 

Trump touted Assange's claim that Russia was not the source of private documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) that WikiLeaks published last year. 

"Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' — why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!" Trump tweeted.


On Tuesday, Trump tweeted that a planned intelligence briefing on Russian hacking had been pushed back to Friday. He suggested the meeting was delayed because "perhaps more time needed to build a case."

A senior intelligence official told NBC News the meeting was always scheduled for Friday.

The president-elect has long expressed his doubts regarding the Russian interference in the U.S. presidential race.

President Obama last month ordered a full intelligence report on Russian hacking of political groups and individuals.

Cotton said Wednesday he thinks it "reasonable" for people to wait and see what comes out in the intelligence report, adding he doesn't see a need to jump to conclusions before looking at that report.

He also said he doesn't dispute the intelligence community's report from last year that said Russia was behind the attack on the DNC.

"That's to be expected from Russia. That's what they do," Cotton said.

"And one reason they felt emboldened that they could do that for the last eight years is because Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHealth care moves to center stage in Democratic primary fight Meghan McCain shares video of father shutting down supporter who called Obama an 'Arab' after Trump rally Poll: Majority of Democratic voters happy with their choices among 2020 contenders MORE has not just been weak on Russia, but he's even tried to stop people like me and other members of Congress in drawing a firmer line on them."

Cotton said the U.S. needs to draw a "firmer line" on Russia and needs to impose consequences when the country steps "over the line."