Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Trump gets pushback from GOP senators on Russian links

For the first time since his election, Donald Trump is under pressure from some prominent Republicans.
Author:

Donald Trump is for the first time since his election coming under some pressure from the Republican Party after revelations regarding Russia over the weekend.

After a secret assessment, CIA sources told the Washington Post they concluded that hackers linked to the Putin regime sought to aid Trump's election campaign by hacking Democratic emails and passing the information to WikiLeaks.

The New York Times reports the hackers also accessed Republican email databases, but only passed on the contents of the Democrats to Wikileaks, whose publication of the emails dogged Hillary Clinton's campaign in the run-up to Nov. 8.

The president-elect's transition team dismissed the findings on Friday, saying "these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," NPR reports, but the revelations have raised alarm among some in the GOP.

A bipartisan group of four senators – two of them prominent GOPers Sen. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, issued a statement Sunday calling for an investigation into possible Russian involvement in American elections.

"For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property," the statement, also signed by Democrat Sens. Charles Schumer and Jack Reed, said. "Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American."

Trump continued to respond to the growing controversy surrounding the reports on Monday, tweeting why this hadn't been brought up before the election, even though discussion over Russian hacking became a major talking point before Nov. 8.

The Washington Post notes a secret intelligence briefing for congressional leaders was held in September in which concerns over Russian involvement was raised, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to have "voiced doubts about the veracity of the intelligence."

Possible appointments causing problems

It's not just over hacking that Trump is facing some pushback from Republicans, some of the people he's lining up for major cabinet positions are causing friction too.

Sen. Marco Rubio, who was beaten by Trump in the GOP primaries, has expressed concern that Trump is considering ExxonMobil chairman Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, with Trump himself citing the oil executive's Russian links as a reason he's being considered.

"He’s much more than a business executive; he’s a world-class player," Trump told Fox News on Sunday. "He knows many of the players, and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia — for the company, not for himself.”

Here's what Sen. Rubio tweeted in response.

Sen. McCain is also dubious about his potential appointment, adding that while Tillerson's Russia ties could be "strictly commercial" and that the Senate should give him a fair hearing, he said "it should be a matter of concern," Fox News notes.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Tillerson's links to Russia, noting in 2013 he received the Order of Friendship from Putin, under whose leadership Exxon has been able to expand its Russian business while rivals have faced regulatory obstacles.

Sen. Rand Paul meanwhile has vowed he will try to stop the potential appointment of John Bolton as No. 2 at the State Department.

He told Politico he could join with Democrats to stop the former ambassador to the UN's appointment from getting out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee if Democrats on the committee are against it (there are 10 Republicans and nine Democrats on the committee.)

"John Bolton doesn’t get it. He still believes in regime change. He’s still a big cheerleader for the Iraq War," Paul told Politico. "John Bolton is so far out of it and has such a naive understanding of the world."

Bolton is noted for being in favor of regime change in Iran, with the International Business Times noting he wrote an op-ed in 2015 titled "To Stop Iran's Bomb, Bomb Iran."

Next Up

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

chad davis arradondo flickr

Minneapolis police chief Medaria Arradondo to retire next month

He's overseen the MPD since mid-2017, following the killing of Justine Ruszczyk Damond

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, December 6

The latest from the state health department.

2560px-Foo_Fighters_-_Southside_Festival_2019_4184_-_1

'Minneapolis, we're coming!!!': Foo Fighters announce rescheduled concert

The previously announced Huntington Bank Stadium was cancelled.

Related

Key points from Donald Trump's first news conference since the election

What Donald Trump had to say during his first news conference after winning the election.

Welcome, President Trump: Key points from his first speech as POTUS

Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.

Comey confirms FBI is probing whether Trump campaign, Russia coordinated

Whether there are links between the Trump campaign and Russia will form part of a wider investigation into Russia's interference in last year's elections.

Euphoric Twin Cities Republicans toast Donald Trump victory

Euphoric scenes greeted Donald Trump's shock election victory as Twin Cities Republicans joined to watch the results in Bloomington.

Paul Ryan is done with Donald Trump: What it means, and why it matters

Wisconsin's Paul Ryan is done with Donald Trump. Here's why, and what it means.

There's a 'March Against Trump' in Minneapolis Saturday

The march is in honor of Human Rights Day, Dec. 10.

Donald Trump quips that he'll accept election result – if he wins

Speaking for the first time since Wednesday's presidential debate, Donald Trump said he will accept the result of next month's election ... if he wins.

Will cheeseheads embrace Trump as one of their own?

Is Packer nation going to accept Donald Trump as one of their own after Gov. Scott Walker gave him a jersey?