Despite reports by multiple U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia intervened in the U.S. election, Donald Trump has been largely dismissive of Russia’s role.
A day after the Obama administration announced actions it is taking to punish Russia, Trump even praised Vladimir Putin when reports surfaced that the Russian president would hold off on any responsive measures until the new administration is in place.
Trump’s reactions have baffled many. On Friday, the Washington Post’s editorial board noted that while the president-elect’s reasons for his approach could be many, including, “lack of experience in foreign policy,” and “naivete about Russian intentions,” there are “darker suspicions” as well.
The piece states, “Mr. Trump has steadfastly refused to be transparent about hismultibillion-dollar business empire. Are there loans or deals with Russian businesses or the state that were concealed during the campaign? Are there hidden communications with Mr. Putin or his representatives? We would be thrilled to see all the doubts dispelled, but Mr. Trump’s odd behavior in the face of a clear threat from Russia, matched by Mr. Putin’s evident enthusiasm for the president-elect, cannot be easily explained.”
At a New Year’s party in Florida, when asked about why doubt the U.S. intelligence agencies on Russia, Trump said, “…if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong. And so I want them to be sure…I think it’s unfair if they don’t know. And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”