Intelligence officials have fired back at Donald Trump in a statement Monday morning that pits the CIA and the president-elect in an extraordinary war of words.
"The inclination to ignore such intelligence and impugn the integrity of U.S. intelligence officials is contrary to all that is sacred to national security professionals who work day and night to protect this country,” the CIA said in a statement to Reuters.
The real estate mogul is in a standoff with the U.S. intelligence community after he called the recent CIA report that Russian hackers interfered in the American election “ridiculous.”
Trump told Fox News Sunday that the report is sour grapes from Hillary Clinton supporters.
“I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country,” he said.
On Monday morning, he unleashed against the CIA on Twitter.
Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
On Friday, Trump released a statement slamming the CIA saying: "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the transition said in a terse, unsigned statement. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It's now time to move on and 'Make America Great Again.'"
Russian officials have denied any involvement in rigging the U.S. president election.
Also on Sunday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway defended the president-elect.
She called the notion that Russia helped the billionaire seize the election “laughable and ridiculous” on CBS’ Face the Nation.
Journalist Carl Bernstein of Watergate scandal fame made an explosive comment about Trump on CNN Sunday, saying: “No president, including Richard Nixon, has been so ignorant of fact and disdains fact in the way this president-elect does.”
He added: “And it has something to do with the growing sense of authoritarianism he and his presidency are projecting. The danger of it is obvious and he's trying to make the conduct of the press the issue, not his own conduct."