Donald Trump’s team used appearances on the Sunday morning news shows to try to shift the public focus on the intelligence community’s report on Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential race.
Instead of focusing on the crux of the report – that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a multifaceted campaign aimed at helping Trump take the White House – members of the president-elect’s team emphasized Russia’s failure to actually disrupt the country’s democracy and influence election results.
Incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said Sunday he thinks Trump accepts the findings of the intelligence community.
“He is not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular hacking campaign,” Priebus told “Fox News Sunday.”
But, he alleged, that’s not new.
“It happens every election period,” he said.
“Now, in this particular case, it started way back in 2015, before either nominee of either party was chosen, and it started, and this is declassified, as a spear phishing exhibition over many different institutions.”
Priebus went on to blast the Democratic National Committee for not having better protection in place for its systems, saying it was warned multiple times by the FBI before being hacked.
“Yes, we have bad actors around the world. We have had bad actors, including the Russians,” Priebus said.
“But we also have a problem when we have a major political institution that allows foreign governments into their system with hardly any defenses or training. That’s a huge story, and that’s what people aren’t talking about as well.”
Trump aide Kellyanne Conway tried to drive that point home in an interview with “Meet the Press.”
She said foreign entities hacking the U.S. is not new and sought to pivot from discussing election meddling, alleging that under President Obama there have been hacks of the Department of Defense and Department of State.
“Very concerning,” she said of such cyber attacks on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” noting there was ” very little punishment.”
Americans should know the country is “woefully unprepared for cybersecurity in the 21st century,” she added.