On Thursday, NBC News reported that U.S. intelligence uncovered evidence of Russian officials celebrating Trump’s election win while giving themselves credit for the victory.
NBC’s report cited “a senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge” of what was on the intel report that President Obama saw on Thursday and was scheduled to be shown to Trump on Friday.
Highly classified intercepts illustrate Russian government planning and direction of a multifaceted campaign by Moscow to undermine the integrity of the American political system,” NBC quotes the source saying.
“What you will see is that there were evolving goals over time. At the end, they were trying to elect Trump,” the source adds.
NBC’s report came just after the Washington Post first shared details from the review. A declassified version of the report is also expected to be made public later on Friday. But before the report is officially released to the public, Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence, along with incoming security aides, are scheduled to be briefed by senior intelligence officials.
Trump first railed against NBC’s report on Thursday, tweeting: “How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!”
How did NBC get "an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?" Who gave them this report and why? Politics!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Back in October, the U.S. intelligence community publicly blamed Russia for hacking various groups and individuals connected to the Democratic Party. The hacks are believed to have led to damaging leaks of private emails from high-ranking Democratic officials, including then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A secret CIA review reportedly concluded that the Russian government’s goal was to see Trump win the presidency.
However, Trump continues to cast doubt on the intelligence community’s joint conclusion, calling into question President Barack Obama’s influence regarding the integrity of those assessments.
Trump also continues to have a rocky relationship with the mainstream news media, as he’s frequently targeted not only NBC and MSNBC but also individual reporters like Katy Tur. Trump’s whining covers both the network’s political coverage and its non-political programming. In the past, Trump has been a vocal critic of NBC’s comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live over its unrelenting mockery of him as well as his supporters.
I watched parts of @nbcsnl Saturday Night Live last night. It is a totally one-sided, biased show – nothing funny at all. Equal time for us?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
Ironically, most of Trump’s fame before the election can be attributed to his hit NBC show The Apprentice and successful spin-off, Celebrity Apprentice. Trump even took a shot at the star of the newest season of his former show, Arnold Schwarzenegger, mocking the former California governor on Twitter stating that his show “got swamped (or destroyed)” in the ratings. Trump also bragged about how much more successful he was as the show’s star. But Schwarzenegger came back with the perfect “presidential” response via video giving Trump a lesson in how a real Commander-in-Chief carries himself.
But it was Media Matters researcher Oliver Willis who had the perfect response to Trump’s latest complaint about NBC allegedly receiving leaked information.
you allied yourself with the biggest leaker of us intelligence over the last 15 years, wikileaks and julian assange https://t.co/baLIoiwQIl
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 6, 2017
This week and next, Congress has scheduled a series of hearings on Capitol Hill concerning Russia’s alleged role in Trump’s election victory back in November.
Featured image via (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)