Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and vocal Donald Trump ally, said Friday that the president-elect should be “both skeptical and frankly pretty angry” when he is briefed on the intelligence community’s new report on suspected Russian attempts to influence the election.
Joining Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway in criticizing the leak of details from the report to the news media prior to Trump’s scheduled briefing, Gingrich described the lead-up as a “mess” and wondered aloud, like Trump has before, if intelligence agencies are playing politics.
“The president applied sanctions to Russia a week before the report,” Gingrich said on Fox News. “The report gets to NBC before it gets to Donald Trump? I mean, what the devil is going on here? To what degree is this a political charade to allow Democrats to blame the Russians rather than Hillary for her defeat?”
“The whole thing is a mess,” he concluded.
Intelligence officials and outside experts have agreed since at least October that Russian hackers were behind cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials before the election. The hacks, which resulted in thousands of private emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign being published on the website WikiLeaks, embarrassed Clinton repeatedly.