After a day in which President Barack Obama rolled out sweeping retaliation against Russia and Vladimir Putin for their role in interfering with the United States election, and two key Republican Senators backed him up on it, Donald Trump has responded with a brief statement. Rather than lashing out via Twitter as per usual, Trump’s statement was sent directly to reporters – and in it he’s agreed to finally participate in an intelligence briefing.
Trump’s statement, which has been posted here by Matt Viser of the Boston Globe, reads in its entirety: “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.”
It’s not clear why Donald Trump would need to be updated on Russia’s role in the election, as those facts have been publicly known for some time. The Washington Post first reported on December 9th that the CIA had concluded Russia rigged the election on Trump’s behalf, and the FBI agreed with the CIA on December 16th.
On the other hand, it has been widely reported that Donald Trump has not only been refusing most of his daily intelligence briefings, he’s bragged to Fox News that he doesn’t need them because he’s a “smart person.”
But now, in the wake of everyone from President Obama to Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham moving full speed ahead with the intention of crippling Russia for tampering in the election, Donald Trump at least appears to be finally willing to agree to an intelligence briefing. It’s notable that Trump’s statement today makes no mention of Russia, and that he’s strangely said nothing about the matter on Twitter. Is he even aware of the statement his staff sent out in his name?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report