Conway Condemns Leaks to Media About Russian Intel
Kellyanne Conway criticized individuals within the intelligence community who are supposedly leaking classified intelligence reports and meeting notes to the press, which is not what they are supposed to be doing.
The Hill reports:
President-elect Donald Trump’s top aide Kellyanne Conway on Wednesday said that Americans should be “concerned” by leaks to the media about intelligence agencies’ findings on Russian interference with the election.
When asked about a Friday story in The Washington Post that reported that CIA believes the Russian government attempted to help Trump win the election by hacking emails of numerous Democratic officials, Conway said that she is concerned about such press coverage of secret intel.
“We should all be very concerned about that because you had a closed-door House Intelligence Committee briefing, and no sooner do people walk out apparently then some folks were talking to the media,” Conway said in an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly.
“That’s unfortunate and at some level, maybe not it this instance, Megyn, but at some point it could put all of us at risk. And for what purpose? To politicize or to curry favor with the mainstream media? None of that is worth leaking secrets,” she added.
Conway said that the premature intelligence reports are being politicized by Trump’s opponents who refuse to accept the outcome of the election.
“People who want this to be the permanent campaign, who are the election deniers … they are politicizing it,” she said while adding that the president-elect has “great faith” in the intelligence community.
Conway also warned against trusting the media accounts of the intelligence reports, stating that most of them are not accurate.
“If you read some of these news accounts in mainstream papers where people are reading something saying, ‘It must be true, I just read five paragraphs strong where there is an intonation or an outright assertion that Russian interference changed the election result’ — that is just not proven, that is just false and its dangerous to our democracy,” Conway said.
The Intelligence Community (IC) on Wednesday refused a request to brief the House Intelligence Committee on its latest findings about alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, citing a larger investigation called for by President Obama.
“Once the review is complete in the coming weeks, the Intelligence Community stands ready to brief Congress — and will make those findings available to the public consistent with protecting intelligence sources and methods,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said in a statement.
Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) requested the FBI, NSA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence and CIA to meet with committee following FBI’s reported dispute of the conclusions reached in the leaked CIA’s assessment.
During her interview Conway also defended the Trump children who attended the president-elect’s recent meeting with leading technology companies.
“I think that’s an unfair accusation against Trump’s adult kids, from people who again are not happy with the election result, and here is why I say that. They can sit in a meeting where their father is convening with the nation’s largest tech titans, who also have a responsibility, I think, to the public good to make sure that we have educational vocational opportunities,” she said.
When asked by Kelly if major technological companies will behave differently when working with the Trump children in the future, Conway replied that it is unfair to treat them as spokespeople for the president-elect.
“I think it is really unfair to them because they are not spokespeople,” she replied. “I think it’s incredibly irresponsible to say that [Trump’s children] can’t be in a meeting with tech giants.”
Conway said the Trump family is still working on a plan to minimize the appearance of conflicts of interest, which is expected to be structured around handing control of the president-elect’s business to his eldest children.
“There is a lot of activity on the 25th and 26th floor of the Trump Tower right now with lawyers and protocol officers … trying to figure out how best to structure and how best to comply with protocols,” she said, while adding that Trump’s success in business make this an unusual transition process.
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