In the past few weeks, Russia has been accused by U.S. Intelligence agencies of influencing the results of the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s favor. Former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte said it remains to be seen how the president-elect will handle those allegations once he assumes office.
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He said in order for the Trump administration to be taken seriously, it needs to look further into Russia’s alleged cyber hacking and how Russia may have impacted the election.
“I don’t think we are under any obligation to like or dislike Mr. Putin. I think the question is: What is best for the United States interest? And I would hope that this new administration will undertake very early in its term of office a complete review of the United States-Russia relationship,” Negroponte said. “In addition of course to looking into what happened during this election period with the cyber hacking and all of that and I would agree with those that are proposing some kind of commission. So we try to move this a little bit away from the headlines and a little more into analysis of what happened and what the implications are for further courses of action,” he said during an interview with the FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.
Negroponte said Trump has a lot to learn and needs to start trusting intelligence officers.
“I think the learning curve for President- elect Trump is going to be pretty steep and I think you are right to comment on the qualifications of the people who are entering. But the Senate is going to have something to say about it,” he said. “But to me it also suggests that they are going to need all the help they can get and I think they are going to have to learn to rely a bit more on the professional intelligence officers and diplomatic officers who have been at the moment, up until now at least, a bit of an object of scorn on their part.”
He said the administration has to grow to respect the intelligence community.
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“They’ve got to get accustomed to working in this Washington environment,” he said, “and I’m hopeful that the evolution will over time be positive.”
Negroponte also weighed in on Russia’s relationship with Turkey following the shooting death of the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov.
“As far as the implication regarding Russian and Turkish relations,” he said, “well, we’ll have to see what information can be developed about who carried out this heinous act… Given the recent history, this could add an element of tension to Russian and Turkish relations.”