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To Donald Trump, the C.I.A. is the Opposition

December 13, 2016
Plain English Version


Donald Trump did not like what he was hearing. The C.I.A. issued a report. It said Russia had hacked into the emails of the Democratic and Republican Parties.

That is not a nice thing to hear if you are Donald Trump. For one thing, it shows Russia interfering in a U.S. election. For another, Russia might have influenced the outcome of the election.

Trump made a statement. He said “I think it is ridiculous. I think it is just another excuse. I do not believe it.”

His campaign said the C.I.A. was the agency that claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. There is debate over whether the Bush administration picked and chose from their report. Critics say the administration was looking for a reason to go to war. This took place thirteen years ago.

For Trump, any information that makes him look bad is a reason to strike back. It does not matter if it serious charge. Russian spying is. It could be a charge that Trump fudged the numbers in claiming the number of jobs saved at the Carrier plant. Donald Trump took to Twitter to go after the local union president.

The C.I.A. is one of the agencies that deal with spying. All agree that Russia was involved in hacking in the campaign. Can these agencies let a leader challenge their findings? What if that leader is the president-elect?

Trump is not yet in office. What is Washington going to do? Politicians in both parties are calling for investigations of the Russian hacking.

Congress is an equal branch of government. Congress faces a crisis. It has never seen a president who uses words like “sad and weak” for people who are against him.

Intelligence reports carry great weight in the U.S. government. Russia is  an enemy of America. Will Trump try to keep Congress from investigating the Russian hacking? It is hard to believe he can do that. This is a big test.

But Trump may also say, “I changed my mind. I believe the C.I.A. Let Congress do its job.” The right word for Trump is, unpredictable.

Source: The New York Times December 11, 2016

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