Former CIA director Michael Morell just called the intelligence agency’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election to help President-elect Donald Trump “the political equivalent of 9/11.”
Morell’s comments come on the heels of the revelation on Friday that the CIA has evidence confirming that Russia provided WikiLeaks with hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta in an effort to help Donald Trump win the election.
“A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11,” Morell said in an interview posted Sunday on The Cipher Brief, reported Politico.
“It is huge and the fact that it hasn’t gotten more attention from the Obama Administration, Congress, and the mainstream media, is just shocking to me,” Morell said.
Trump’s transition team criticized the CIA assessment after the report came out, saying that the same people had concluded that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. And in an interview with Fox, Trump called allegations that Russia interfered “ridiculous.”
“They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace,” he said.
Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of senators, including Republican John McCain and incoming Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer, called on Congress to investigate the allegations, saying that “this cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country.”
“In a world with so many threats and challenges facing the United States and in a city where politics and policy disputes color so many views, a President, if they’re going to be able to protect the country, they need someone to provide them with an objective, unbiased view of what’s going on in the world, and why it matters to them, and why it matters to the country, he said. “That job falls to the Intelligence Community led by the CIA, and that’s why the relationship between a President and the Intelligence Community and the CIA is so special. And right now that special relationship is being undermined.”
The American people deserves transparency from the government. The media and the public must demand the Obama Administration order the release of any evidence the CIA has to stop Trump from delivering America into Putin’s hands.