January 1, 2017

This is what we get to look forward to from the incoming Trump administration any time they're asked about something they don't want to discuss. Here's former RNC spokesperson, now incoming Trump administration spokesperson, Sean Spicer on ABC's This Week responding to Jonathan Karl's question about whether they're willing to accept the fact that the Russians were responsible for the hacking at the DNC.

KARL: But what’s the bottom line? Just a yes or no answer. Does President Trump, President-elect Trump, now accept the fact that Russia was behind the DNC hack?

SPICER: Well I think that there’s a report that came out the other day, that got issued on the 29th, that the intelligence community has put out, and while the media played it up as this report about the hacking, what it actually is, if you look through it, and it's available online, is a series of recommendations that should be taken, like changing passwords, changing administrative rights.

What it shows is that by all measures the Democratic National Committee had a very lax IT support. Now hacking is wrong by any standards. No one supports anyone hacking into any other entity, legal, domestically, or foreign, or anyone interfering with anything, but the fact of the matter is, what this report really does show is that there’s a need for them to go back in and look at their, what they’re doing IT wise to protect their system.

KARL: Absolutely, but you do see, I have the report too, you do see the headline, Russian malicious cyber activity. It makes it clear, and it names Russia, gives the IP addresses…

SPICER: And then it says, actions take, back up the system. Staff training…


KARL: Absolutely. But does he accept that Russia was behind this?

SPICER: Well I think, like I said, he has to have the briefing first from the intelligence community next week.

KARL: So he’s still not there yet?

SPICER: It’s not a question of not there yet, Jonathan, it’s a question of getting the information. Everyone in the media wants to jump forward and make a conclusion based off other sourced information, you know anonymous sources that are coming out of the intelligence community, he’s going to do this right.

KARL: This is no longer anonymous, this is

SPICER: It is…

KARL: This is a public statement.

SPICER: What this says is that the DNC had a problem with their IT security and people tried to hack it and they need to do a better job of protecting it…

KARL: The Russians succeeding in hacking…

SPICER: But the fact of the matter is, but we’re having part of a conversation. Why aren’t we talking about the influence, other influences on the election? Why aren’t we talking about Hillary Clinton getting debate questions ahead of time? That’s a pretty valid attempt to influence an election. Somebody giving her the debate questions and the answers of an election. No, no, no. It’s not hey. We haven’t, no one’s asking those questions. And the fact is is that everyone wants to talk, make Donald Trump admit to certain things.

When are we going to start talking about the other side of this. Which is what did Hillary Clinton do to influence the election? Is she being punished in any way? What are we doing to make sure that people don’t get the debate questions ahead of time, because I can tell you this, if my boss at the time, Reince Priebus, had gotten the debate questions, and handed them off, he would have been driven out of this town on a steak, and Donald Trump would have been vilified. No one wants to ask those questions now.

KARL: Just to be clear, that was during the Democratic primary, it was not in the debates with Donald Trump. But let me move on.

h/t Think Progress

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