Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on “Fox & Friends” Friday to slam the intelligence briefings President Barack Obama has received on Russia as “incompetent or politicized.”
Giuliani, who has been a close ally of GOP President-elect Donald Trump, said that the intelligence Obama is receiving regarding Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election is highly questionable, Talking Points Memo reports.
Giuliani further stated that Trump should be somewhat skeptical of intelligence briefings passed down from the Obama administration when he takes office in January, calling the work “incompetent.”
To solve these conundrum of supposedly faulty intelligence, Giuliani suggested that Trump “have his own intelligence people do their own report.”
While on the show, Giuliani also blasted the White House for shuttering Russian compounds in Maryland and New York as part of sanctions levied against Moscow for apparently targeting American political organizations, arguing that “if you are going to solve a murder, you arrest the murderer. Not the candy store the murderer went to before he committed the murder.”
Although Trump largely shrugged off reports from the intelligence community that concluded the Russian government targeted cyberattacks against American political organizations, he did pledge to meet with intelligence officials sometime next week to get up to speed on the situation.
“It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation,” Trump said in a statement.
Republican members of Congress, however, have taken a much more aggressive stance against Russia. House Speaker Paul Ryan praised Obama’s sanctions, saying that “While today’s action by the administration is overdue, it is an appropriate way to end eight years of failed policy with Russia.”
GOP Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham followed up in a joint statement applauding the sanctions, but also criticized the administration for taking so long to bring them forward.
“The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama Administration today are long overdue,” McCain and Graham said. “But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia.”
It’s unclear if Trump will leave Obama’s new sanctions in place when he takes office. These sanctions are directed at two Russian intelligence agencies and four executives from the GRU, which is Russia’s most prominent intelligence agency. The sanctions also apply to three companies that support the GRU’s operations.
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