President-elect Donald Trump insists on dumping on the intelligence community that he will need to depend upon in less than three weeks. On Tuesday, he falsely claimed that the briefing on Russian hacking was postponed until Friday. (Intelligence officials say it was already set for that date.) He openly mocked the professionals who provide vital intelligence to the country: "The 'Intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking' was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!"
On Wednesday, Trump openly sided with WikiLeaks's Julian Assange, widely seen as a partner with Russia in undermining the West. Trump tweeted: "Julian Assange on U.S. media coverage: 'It's very dishonest.' . . . More dishonest than anyone knows." (Assange was given free rein on Sean Hannity's show, highlighting the Russian sycophantic triumvirate of Assange, Trump and Fox non-News hosts. Fox is becoming one step removed from Russia's official propaganda outlet, RT.) A senior Democratic Senate aide tells us: "In less than 24 hours, Mr. Trump has disparaged the intelligence community twice by misleadingly saying that his upcoming briefing was postponed, and then citing Julian Assange's statements as fact. It's so dangerous and the American people better wake up to what's happening."
To be clear, there is no doubt that the hacking occurred. CIA Director John Brennan rebuffed Trump's claim that the intelligence community's error on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction makes it unreliable. ("It's been light-years since that report on Iraq WMD has been done and there has been tremendous further development, I think, of our analytic capabilities as well as our intelligence-collecting capabilities," Brennan said. "I would suggest to individuals that have not yet seen the report, who have not yet been briefed on it, that they wait and see what it is that the intelligence community is putting forward before they make those judgments.")