Donald Trump calls for investigation into apparent intelligence leak to NBC

It came after broadcaster reported US found Russian actors had passed stolen Democratic material to WikiLeaks

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Saturday 07 January 2017 10:15
The Republican leader conceded on Friday the likelihood of a Russia-backed interference in the election but denied it affected the result
The Republican leader conceded on Friday the likelihood of a Russia-backed interference in the election but denied it affected the result

President-elect Donald Trump has announced plans to investigate an alleged intelligence leak to NBC, after he claimed the American broadcaster was able to access “top secret” information before him.

“I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top-secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it,” he wrote on Twitter.

NBC reported on Thursday the US had identified Russian actors as being responsible for passing stolen Democratic material to WikiLeaks. It also cited a senior intelligence official as confirming senior Russian officials celebrating Mr Trump’s victory.

However, the real-estate mogul reacted angrily to the report saying: “How did NBC get an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented? Who gave them this report and why? Politics!”

The Republican leader said on Friday the likelihood of Russia-backed attempts at interference in the presidential election. However, he claimed any attempt to sway the result had “absolutely no effect on the outcome”.

“I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation,” he said in a statement following an intelligence agency briefing on the issue.

“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democratic National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

Russia has consistently denied any involvement and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said Moscow was not the source.

On Saturday, Mr Trump took aim at the Democratic National Committee for “allowing hacking to take place”.

“Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!” he wrote on Twitter.

Responding to Mr Trump's tweet non NBC, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he was confident that no information was leaked by the White House.

Jack Langer, a spokesman for the Republican majority of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had no comment on the tweet because the congressional panel had not received an official request for an investigation.

Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat, responded to Trump on Twitter, suggesting his request was a sideshow: “Of all issues implicated by Russian active measures, this is what you want to investigate? This is your top priority for intel committees?”

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