Trump Swipes at US Intel as Wrong on Russian Hacking as it Was Wrong on WMD in Iraq
President-elect Donald Trump today took a swipe at US intelligence agencies over their consensus that Russian government-linked hackers were responsible for bringing to light the Podesta and DNC emails, which leading Democrats now blame for Hillary Clinton's loss in the 2016 election. Speaking at his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida as crowds gathered for New Year's Eve celebrations, Trump said:
“I just want them to be sure, because it’s a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong,”
The failure to find any significant amounts of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) after the invasion of Iraq, in which nearly 5,000 American soldiers died and many tens of thousands more were wounded or debilitated by psychological scars, has been blamed on faulty intelligence by some, and a deliberate campaign by the Bush administration to deceive by others.
Trump's willingness to raise the issue of Iraq was credited with delivering a knock-out blow to the presidential aspirations of Jeb Bush during the Republican presidential primary season. Trump ripped into Bush in a debate over his brother's policies saying:
"They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none."
In another debate during the Republican primary season, Trump refused to concede Jeb Bush's argument that his brother had kept America safe, with Trump lashing out:
"The World Trade Center came down during your brother's reign. Remember that."
In recent weeks Obama has accused Russia of hacking and leaking emails which were perceived as damaging to Hillary Clinton, based on US intelligence agency assertions. The Podesta emails have led to a wave of Internet speculation known as #pizzagate.