An unprecedented breach has emerged between President-elect Donald Trump and the national security establishment, with Mr. Trump trashing American intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the election on his behalf, and one intelligence official allegedly saying that “Trump should have his security clearance revoked,” according to a source with knowledge of the case.
As The New York Times reports, intelligence officials revealed on Saturday that the C.I.A. discovered conclusive evidence of Russia’s activities, confirming that the government of President Vladimir V. Putin was not just trying to undermine the election, but had also acted to tilt the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
“There were indications in early October that the Russians had shifted their focus to harm Mrs. Clinton to help Donald Trump,” one intelligence official said.
The disclosure of the still-classified findings prompted a scorching attack against the intelligence agencies by Mr. Trump, whose transition office said in a statement on Friday night that “these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” adding that the election was over and that it was time to “move on.”
The breach also raises questions about how Mr. Trump will deal with the intelligence agencies he will have to rely on for analysis of China, Russia and the Middle East, as well as for covert drone and cyber activities. Or maybe he will rely on Putin’s KGB for intelligence assessments.
According to the report, Trump is also taking fire from many Republicans on the congressional intelligence committees, who have said they were presented with “significant evidence,” in closed briefings, of a Russian campaign to meddle in the election and are vowing investigations into Kremlin activities.
“We cannot allow foreign governments to interfere in our democracy,” Representative Michael McCaul, a Texas Republican who is the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and was considered by Mr. Trump for secretary of Homeland Security, said at the conservative Heritage Foundation, wrote The Times. “When they do, we must respond forcefully, publicly and decisively,” McCaul added.