My fondest wish at this very moment is to be a fly on the wall at the Trump Tower office where the president-elect of the United States is going to hear from the intelligence he has disparaged about what they know about Russian efforts to hack into our electoral process.
Donald Trump is playing host Friday to the director of national intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency director, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. They’re going to tell them what they know about Russian efforts to influence the presidential election we just endured.
Will the president-elect disparage these intelligence professionals to their faces? Will he tell them they don’t know what they’re talking about? Will he stand by the assertions of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, who’s been hiding in a foreign embassy to avoid prosecution on criminal charges?
DNI Jim Clapper said there’s a line between honest skepticism and “disparagement.” Indeed, Trump has disparaged the intelligence community’s ability to do its job, which is to provide national security information that presidents need to protect Americans from foreign adversaries.
Clapper was one of the intelligence honchos who spoke today to the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee about the Russian hacking story. It was an amazing hearing. It produced pointed questions about the doubts that Trump has cast on the intelligence community. It also produced amazing answers from the intelligence pros about whether they would believe Julian Assange’s assertions dismissing Russian involvement in these hacking efforts.
The hearing today was a preliminary event, a setup for the main event set for Friday at Trump Tower.
I need serious help as I seek to turn into that fly on the wall. Oh, to listen to what the spooks tell Trump the evidence they have about Russian hackers.