Trump Goes on Hours-Long Tweetstorm Over Russian Hacking

Twitter

President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday that the only reason the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is discussed is because Democrats are “totally embarrassed” about their election loss, and he urged friendlier relations with Russia.

“Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!” Trump said as part of a Saturday morning tweetstorm.

His comments came a day after the declassification of a US intelligence report that concluded Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, ordered a campaign to influence the US election and hurt Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning.

Trump pointed to “gross negligence” by the DNC as the reason the hacking took place.

He also denied suggestions that the Russian hacking could have affected the election results, saying “there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results” because voting machines weren’t “touched.”

The US intelligence community’s report concluded that Russia — led by Putin — developed a “clear preference for President-elect Trump. But it did not assess the impact that Russian activities had on the election outcome, as Business Insider’s Pamela Engel reported.

The president-elect further touched on his relationship with Russia, saying that only “stupid people” and “fools” would think that having a good relationship with Russia is “bad.”

“When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now, and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some fo the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!” he tweeted.

Here are the tweets:

(h/t Business Insider)

Trump Still Questions Intelligence on Russia Hacking After Briefing

President-elect Donald Trump said he had a “constructive” meeting with intelligence officials on Friday, but still had questions about assertions that Russia hacked Democrats during last year’s election in order to defeat Hillary Clinton.

Claiming that Russia, China and other countries and organizations are always launching cyber-attacks against the United States — “including the Democratic National Committee” — Trump said in a written statement that “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”

He added: “There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.”

The intelligence community outlined its findings in a declassified report issued a few hours after the Trump briefing.

Among them: “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

A statement from the office of the Director of National Intelligence said that investigators “did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election, and DHS assesses that the types of systems the Russian actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying.”

While criticizing aspects of the Russia investigation just hours before a special briefing, Trump said in his statement, “I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this (intelligence) community to our great nation.”

Saying all Americans need to “aggressively combat and stop cyber-attacks,” Trump said that as president he would appoint a team to develop a new defense plan.

“The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm,” the president-elect added. “Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, said on Twitter: “Why. Can’t. He. Just. Say. He. Accepts. The. Conclusion. Of. The. Intel. Agencies? It is seriously weird he won’t just admit Russia did it.”

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who also attended the briefing, called it “a constructive and respectful dialogue.” He said Trump has pledged “aggressive action in the early days of our new administration to combat cyber attacks and protect the security of the American people from this type of intrusion in the future.”

Before the meeting, Trump continued to attack what he called an over-emphasis on claims that the Russians hacked Democratic Party officials in an election operation authorized by Putin.

“China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names,” Trump told The New York Times. “How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt.”

Before his high-profile briefing at Trump Tower, the president-elect also announced he has asked Congress to investigate what he believes to be the leak of a secret intelligence report on the Russians to the news media. He tweeted: “I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.”

The president-elect had a nearly two-hour briefing that included Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey, all of whom have cited evidence pointing to a Russian plan to hack Democrats backing Clinton, perhaps in an effort to aid Trump.

Trump and aides have questioned the government’s position that the Russians engineered the hacking in order to undermine Clinton, a conclusion officials reaffirmed during a Senate hearing Thursday.

Changing rhetoric

In recent days, the president-elect has also softened his rhetoric about the intelligence agencies.

“The media lies to make it look like I am against ‘Intelligence’ when in fact I am a big fan!” Trump said during a Thursday tweet storm.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the White House did not leak the report that Trump cited — and said he found it ironic that the president-elect was complaining about the disclosure. Just days ago, Earnest noted, Trump tweeted his approval of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has published classified information in addition to the Democratic emails that surfaced during the election.

Trump’s situational disapproval of leaks, Earnest said, “leads me to believe that his concerns are something other than protecting classified information.”

Lawmakers have criticized Trump for seeming to defend the Russians.

“I think it’s dangerous,” Vice President Biden told PBS NewsHour. “For a President not to have confidence in, not to be prepared to listen to the myriad of intelligence agencies from defense intelligence, to the CIA, et cetera, is absolutely mindless. It’s just mindless.”

DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile, meanwhile, pointed out that, “for the first time ever,” Trump “is not disputing the fact that Russia was behind the targeted attack on the DNC and the Clinton campaign.”

(h/t USA Today)

Reality

In a written statement Trump said that “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election,” however Trump is lying. The report never waded into the territory of if there was an effect, just that the Putin-ordered hack and ensuing propaganda from Russia existed.

Despite Promise, Trump Divulges No New Election Hacking Details

The day that Donald Trump promised to reveal what no one else knew about the hacking of the Democratic Party has come and gone.

On New Year’s Eve, Trump said that he knows “things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

Pressed by a reporter for details, Trump said, “you’ll find out Tuesday or Wednesday.”

But as the day came to a close, Trump hadn’t revealed any more details about the hacking of his campaign opponents, admitting only – in a tweet – that “somebody hacked the DNC,” and alleging the party had weak cyber defenses.

On Tuesday, however, Trump continued to taunt the U.S. intelligence community about its assessment that Russia was behind the cyber-attacks, tweeting: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

But there was no delay, according to U.S. officials, the briefing was always scheduled for Friday.

But while insulting U.S. intelligence, Trump has been embracing Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is considered by many to be an enemy of America and who appeared for an extended interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.

Referring to the source who leaked stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee to his website, Assange said, the “source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party.”

The appearance and subsequent Tweets from Trump showed an alliance that just a few years ago would have seemed unthinkable.

On Fox News six years ago, Trump attacked Wikileaks for publishing U.S. secrets, saying “I think it’s disgraceful…I think there should be like death penalty or something.”

Regardless, U.S. officials said that Assange doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“There’s no way that Assange would have any idea who was behind dropping this information off,” said Matt Olsen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center and an ABC News contributor. “The Russian intelligence services are clearly capable of hiding their tracks.”

And with only about two weeks until Trump becomes commander in chief, the nation’s top Democrat is warning Trump that he could face payback once in office.

“You take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” said. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York. “Even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he’s being really dumb to do this.”

Trump claims his briefing on Russian cyberattacks was delayed, but US intelligence officer says otherwise

President-elect Donald Trump mocked US intelligence officials on Tuesday in a tweet claiming his briefing on Russian cyberattacks was delayed, and once again cast doubt on their claims that Russia interfered with the presidential election.

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

However, a senior US intelligence official immediately refuted Trump’s claim, saying the briefing with the heads of the NSA, CIA, DNI and the FBI was “always” scheduled for Friday, NBC News reported.

Last week, Trump said he agreed to meet with intelligence officials about Russia’s involvement in the hacks, although he added it was “time to move on.”

He also claimed he would reveal insider information about the cyberattacks on Tuesday or Wednesday, although a member of Trump’s team told CNN Trump would not be following through.

Lawmakers slammed Trump’s Tuesday night tweet.

“Really wish we saw more PEOTUS respect for our intelligence professionals,” Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia said on Twitter. “Proves the need for Congress to give the American people a timely bipartisan probe.”

Incoming Senate Democratic minority leader, Chuck Schumer, also weighed in — calling Trump’s comments “really dumb” during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

“Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Schumer continued.

The FBI, CIA, and the Director of National Intelligence concluded in December that Russia interfered with the election in part to help Trump secure the presidency, with Russian president Vladimir Putin possibly being personally involved.

As punishment, President Barack Obama announced last week a new round of sanctions against Russia, including the removal of 35 intelligence Russian officials from the US. Trump has consistently questioned the allegations against Russia.

Tuesday’s tweet was another example of Trump’s dismissive attitude toward the intelligence agencies he’ll soon be working with. Last month, the president-elect brushed off concerns he wasn’t attending his traditional daily intelligence and national security briefings.

“I get it when I need it,” Trump said.

“I’m, like, a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” he added. “I don’t need that. But I do say, ‘If something should change, let us know.'”

(h/t Business Insider)

 

Trump’s Tweet That ObamaCare Doesn’t Work Is Full Of Shit

Trump sent out an early morning tweet blasting the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, by pointing out the increases in average prices from last year using one state as an example:

People must remember that ObamaCare just doesn’t work, and it is not affordable – 116% increases (Arizona). Bill Clinton called it “CRAZY”

However Trump used a state that decided not to fully implement ObamaCare, by neglecting to set up its own state-run insurance marketplace, which lead to higher rates. So this isn’t because of the design of ObamaCare, but how some mostly Republican states refused to fully implement it.

For comparison, states who fully implemented ObamaCare, such as California, saw only a 2% or less increase in rates, while Massachusetts and Indiana’s implementation was done so well they will actually see a drop in prices this year. States that were adversarial to a full implementation of Obamacare, like Arizona and Pennsylvania, will see the biggest price hikes, driving up the national average to a 22% increase nationally.

So don’t blame Obama for a massive price hike, but your state’s Republican governor.

But what Trump is also neglecting is that most Obamacare participants won’t feel the full price hike or anything near it, even in his cherry-picked state of Arizona.

Nationally, 85% of those enrolled receive a tax credit, which is based on the price of the second-lowest cost silver plan and an enrollee’s income. These subsidies put a limit on how much you have to pay.

Enrollees can also use their subsidies to buy lower-priced bronze or silver plans. That will allow more than three-fourths of current enrollees to pick a plan for $100 or less a month on the federal Healthcare.gov exchange.

 

Trump Cites Julian Assange As Proof That Russia Didn’t Hack Democrats

Citing recent statements from embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, President-elect Donald Trump is continuing to dispute US intelligence reports that Russia strategically hacked and leaked internal emails from top Democratic sources.

On Wednesday, the president-elect blasted out a series of tweets quoting Assange’s Tuesday-night interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, a major Trump supporter, in which the WikiLeaks founder parroted much of Trump’s rhetoric criticizing media outlets.

“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.

The president-elect then blamed the Democratic National Committee for failing to block hackers and claimed that the DNC had not addressed the content of some leaked emails, though several top figures at the organization resigned after emails emerged showing several offering criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who was running against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries.

Since reports emerged that intelligence agencies found substantial evidence that Russia meddled in the US election, Trump has steadfastly continued to cast doubt over the credibility of US intelligence officials on the subject.

The comments came just hours after Trump mocked US intelligence agencies, which he said postponed a private intelligence briefing now scheduled for Friday on the subject of the Russian hacks.

While Trump offered some of the highest-profile affirmation of Assange’s worldview, other American lawmakers continue to slam the WikiLeaks founder.

Speaking with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed Trump’s tweets but called Assange a “syncophant for Russia,” a likely allusion to Assange’s dismissal of WikiLeaks’ need to find and distribute internal Russian communications.

President Barack Obama continues to ramp up pressure on Russia in the waning days of his administration.

Last week, Obama issued new sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies and booted numerous diplomats and their families from the US.

(h/t Business Insider)

Reality

Trump is using Julian Assange’s statements that the Podesta emails sent to WikiLeaks were not from the Russian government as his only source of evidence to dispute the consensus among the 17 government intelligence agencies who say it was in-fact Russia with Putin’s knowledge.

However in Julian Assange’s own explanation of how WikiLeaks works, as in this TED talk, it is technically impossible for him to know who the source is. The anonymity of the source of a leak is the primary feature to the technology behind WikiLeaks, and what makes it so popular with whistle-blowers.

So if this is Trump’s only evidence, it’s total bunk.

 

Trump Kicks Critic Off His Golf Course

Trump golfing in the rain

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday ejected from his West Palm Beach golf course one of his most critical biographers, Harry Hurt III, who had been preparing to play in a foursome with billionaire mega-donor David Koch.

Hurt is the author of “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump,” a 1993 book that revealed among other things that Trump was accused of “rape” by his ex-wife Ivana Trump in a sworn deposition during their divorce proceedings.

Donald Trump has denied the allegation, as well as other parts of the book, and Ivana Trump herself later said that she did not intend for her use of the word “rape” to be interpreted in “a literal or criminal sense.”

On Friday, Hurt approached Trump on the practice tee at Trump International Golf Club, and congratulated him on his victory in last month’s presidential election, according to an account that Hurt posted on Facebook on Saturday.

Trump responded by criticizing Hurt’s biography as untrue, to which Hurt replied “It’s all true,” according to both Hurt’s Facebook post and a transition official who was briefed on the incident, but did not want to be identified discussing a testy exchange involving the president-elect.

Trump told Hurt “you’re out of here,” according to the transition official, while Hurt wrote on Facebook that Trump told him it was “inappropriate” for him to play at the club.

David Koch could be reached for comment, and the Trump transition team declined to comment.

Hurt told POLITICO in an interview that he approached Trump “out of courtesy and respect for the office of the President of the United States … I support the office of the President of the United States, and I sincerely hope that Donald Trump will look after the interests of the United States with the same passion as he has looked after his business interests heretofore.”

The various accounts given to POLITICO diverge after the initial interaction between Hurt and Trump.

Hurt’s Facebook post says that Trump “had his security detail escort Hurt, Koch, and their playing partners to the parking lot,” and that Koch “was appalled,” and criticized Trump as “petty” and “vulgar.”

Another member of the Hurt-Koch foursome, fellow GOP donor John M. Damgard, told POLITICO that neither he nor Koch were privy to Hurt’s exchange with Trump, and that Hurt didn’t recount it to them in any detail.

“Harry just said he had been asked to leave,” said Damgard, a former president of the Futures Industry Association who has a house in Palm Beach. “I thought he was kidding. And then I learned that there had been some previous bad blood between them from back in the ‘90s apparently,” Damgard said, adding, “Unbeknownst to us, he had written a book or an article that was critical of Trump.”

So, Damgard continued, “rather than exacerbate something that wasn’t going to go very well, we just decided to get into the car and leave.”

A Koch associate told POLITICO that when Hurt returned from his exchange with Trump, he offered to take an Uber home and allow the rest of the foursome to continue playing without him.

“And David said, ‘No, we came as a foursome and we’ll leave as a foursome,’” said the Koch associate, who was briefed on the incident.

Koch is a member of the golf club, said his associate, adding that Koch and Hurt are “golfing buddies” who have “known each other for years.” The associate said that the final member of the foursome was someone invited by Hurt who boasts of having a scratch handicap and may have been giving golf lessons to the person.

The Koch associate said Hurt had only approached the president-elect “as a courtesy.”

And Damgard said, “Harry was with a young lady who was a friend and he thought it would be fun to introduce her to the president-elect.”

But the transition official described Hurt as “trying to instigate,” and said that, instead of leaving after the exchange with Trump, the biographer returned to his foursome as they waited to tee off.

“The course security actually had to go and tap him on the shoulder and tell him to leave,” said the transition official. Koch protested that Hurt was part of his foursome, said the transition official, who said that security informed Koch that he could either leave with Hurt or play without him.

Damgard denies this, saying, “We had no interaction with security.”

And Hurt told POLITICO “There was nobody tapping me on the shoulder, nobody forcing me out.” He said the reason he did not leave immediately after Trump asked him to do so was that “We had to go collect our stuff.”

Hurt said he posted his account on Facebook “to have a true factual narrative of what happened when I was there between Donald Trump and me.” He said “I knew that this story was going to get out and that there are a lot of people, such as the Trump transition people … who were going to take different facts and twist them and say things that were not true.”

But the transition official suggested Hurt was looking for publicity. “The courtesy would have been to just tee off with David Koch and keep to yourself,” said the official. “He could have easily teed off with Koch, and nobody would have said anything.”

Instead, Koch’s foursome left and played at Emerald Dunes, which Hurt described in his Facebook post as “a much, much better golf course than Trump International.”

Damgard, on the other hand, said that Trump’s West Palm Beach course is “one of [Koch’s] very favorite golf courses,” adding, “if he had thought that there would have been an incident, he would have done whatever he could to avoid it.”

The Koch associate said that Koch “will continue to golf” at the Trump course, and didn’t anticipate that the incident would pose any problems between Koch and the president-elect.

But Trump and Koch have recent history.

Koch, a billionaire industrialist, with his brother Charles Koch spearheads arguably the most influential network of donors and advocacy groups on the right. But the brothers sat out the presidential election out of distaste for both Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Charles Koch once likened the choice between Trump and Clinton to choosing between cancer or a heart attack. Trump in turn boasted that the Kochs could not influence him because he didn’t “want their money or anything else from them.”

When Trump and David Koch encountered one another last week at the president-elect’s luxury Mar-A-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Trump referenced the brothers’ sitting out the campaign, according to a transition team source.

Trump Ditches Press Again, This Time For Golf Outing

President-elect Donald Trump played golf at his course about 13 miles north of his Palm Beach resort Saturday.

What time he left Mar-a-Lago, what time he arrived at Trump National in Jupiter, who he met or played with once there, what time he was finished and whether there were any incidents along the way were not immediately clear, as he ditched the reporters assigned to cover him for the day.

“It was a last-minute decision to play golf, nothing more,” Trump travel aide Stephanie Grisham said.

Presidents, presidents-elect and major party presidential nominees in recent decades have been accompanied everywhere by a group of print, online, wire service and broadcast reporters, a rotating “pool” that shares that information for use by all their colleagues. That tradition, though, was broken during the campaign by Trump, who largely refused to allow members of the press to travel on his personal jetliner, forcing the use of a second plane.

The resulting logistical complications sometimes meant pool reporters ― who often paid thousands of dollars per day for air travel ― were unable to arrive at his campaign events until after he had taken the stage. Trump also refused to take reporters to fundraiser locations. Candidate in both parties had made a practice of this, including releasing information about the hosts, the number of attendees and the amount collected.

Not long after the election, Trump went to a New York City restaurant ― with a full Secret Service motorcade ― without notifying his press pool. Reporters on call that evening learned of his visit because of a restaurant patron’s tweet that he was there, and then the reporters scrambled to get there too.

Trump was scheduled to attend a New Year’s Eve party at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday night, which, according to a Politico report, has sold 800 tickets at more than $500 each. Unlike political fundraisers for political parties, the profits from the New Year’s Eve party were expected to flow directly to Trump, who owns the hotel.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told Politico that he was not concerned that ticket buyers might be trying to purchase access to the soon-to-be-president. “This is an annual celebratory event at the private club, like others that have continued to occur since the election. Additionally, the president cannot and does not have a conflict,” Hicks told Politico.

(h/t Huffington Post)

Trump Tweets New Years Greetings in Most Childish Way

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted New Year wishes on Saturday morning, and didn’t forget about what he called his “many enemies.”

“Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do,” Trump wrote, adding his love at the end.

Trump Praises Putin Over US Sanctions From Election Interference

After the Obama administration’s tough new sanctions against Russia put the president-elect in a vulnerable political position at home, in his own party and abroad, Donald Trump chose to respond in familiar fashion – with praise for Vladimir Putin.

The president-elect has repeatedly spoken approvingly of Putin and called for closer relations with Russia. On Friday, he used Twitter to applaud Putin’s restrained response to the expulsion by the US of 35 diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds.

The tweet, like many from Trump that seem calculated to shock and offend, caused a predictable media furore. However, it probably will have done nothing to alleviate the difficult political position in which Trump now finds himself.

The president-elect has been consistently skeptical about the US intelligence consensus that Russia ordered cyber-attacks on Democratic party targets as a way to influence the 2016 election in his favor – the reason for Obama’s new sanctions. At one point, he suggested the culprit might have been China, another state or even a 400lb man in his bedroom.

On taking office in January, Trump might therefore be expected to simply end the Obama sanctions. And as president, he could do so; presidential orders can simply be repealed by the executive branch.

But the situation is not that simple. If Trump did choose to remove the sanctions, he would find himself at odds with his own party. Senior Republicans in Congress responded to the Obama sanctions by identifying Russia as a major geopolitical foe and criticizing the new measures only as a case of too little too late. Some promised a push for further measures in Congress.

Trump may therefore choose not to reverse the new sanctions. If so, he will find himself at odds with the man he so constantly praises.

On Friday, the Kremlin responded to the moves, including the expulsion of 35 suspected intelligence operatives and the closing of two Russian facilities in the US, with a shrug. Putin, it seems, is willing simply to wait until Trump moves into the Oval Office. Trump’s tweet suggested he is too.

But such provocative words could not distract the media and public from another domestic concern for Trump – the growing perception that his predecessor has acted to his disadvantage.

“The sanctions were clearly an attempt by the Obama administration to throw a wrench into – or [to] box in – the next administration’s relationship with Russia,” said Boris Zilberman, a Russia expert at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

“Putin, in part, saw through that and sidestepped it by playing good cop to [Russian foreign minister Sergey] Lavrov and the [state] Duma, who were calling for a reciprocal response.”

Trump will also face pressure from intelligence agencies, which have concluded that Moscow ordered the election cyber-attacks.

“There is now a public record of what Russia did and why they did it,” said Zachary Goldman, executive director of New York University Law School’s Center on Law and Security, referring to a joint Department of Homeland Security and FBI report issued on Thursday.

“Even if the sanctions can be unwound, you can’t make that public statement go away.”

Goldman also noted an international element to the situation facing Trump. It is important to note, he said, that the new executive order enables Obama and his successors to take retaliatory action against efforts to influence elections held by “allies and partners”. Germany and France will hold elections in 2017.

On a call with reporters on Thursday, a senior White House official said the US had “every indication” that Russia would continue to pursue such cyber-attacks.

‘All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions’
On the same call, officials expressed confidence that the political risk of appearing to cave in to Moscow would prevent any future administration from unwinding the sanctions.

“If a future president decided that he wanted to allow in a large tranche of Russian intelligence agents, presumably a future president could invite that action,” a senior official said.

“We think it would be inadvisable. As my colleague just said, these diplomatic compounds were being used for intelligence purposes. That is a direct challenge to US national security, and I don’t think it would make much sense to reopen Russian intelligence compounds.”

 

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