The New York Times reports: An extraordinary breach has emerged between President-elect Donald J. Trump and the national security establishment, with Mr. Trump mocking American intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the election on his behalf, and top Republicans vowing investigations into Kremlin activities.
Mr. Trump, in a statement issued by his transition team on Friday evening, expressed complete disbelief in the intelligence agencies’ assessments.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” Mr. Trump’s team said, adding that the election was over and that it was time to “move on.”
Though Mr. Trump has wasted no time in antagonizing the agencies, he will have to rely on them for the sort of espionage activities and analysis that they spend more than $70 billion a year to perform.
At this point in a transition, a president-elect is usually delving into intelligence he has never before seen and learning about C.I.A. and National Security Agency abilities. But Mr. Trump, who has taken intelligence briefings only sporadically, is questioning not only analytic conclusions, but also their underlying facts. [Continue reading…]