White House spokesman Sean Spicer said in his news briefing Tuesday that President Donald Trump will be extremely tough with Russia. He repeated Trump’s past call for Russia to return Crimea to Ukraine and withdraw from eastern Ukraine, but did not rule out “getting along” with President Putin on other matters. DEBKAfile: These comments indicate a cooling of Trump’s tone towards Moscow, which may have partly motivated him to ask for the resignation of national security adviser Mike Flynn, who was a senior architect of the strategy of close US-Russian cooperation. Continue reading
America’s intelligence chiefs may have been singing their swan’s song Thursday and Friday (Jan. 5-6) when they hurled allegations of election-meddling “ordered at the highest Kremlin level” against Russia at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington. The committee’s chair John McCain picked up the ball and declared that Russian hacking was “an act of war,” after hearing grim testimony from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and the National Security Agency head Adm. Michael Rogers.
The furious clamor keeping the alleged Russian hacking scandal on the boil is being orchestrated by the outgoing president and his intelligence chiefs to ramp up US-Russian friction to an eve-of-cold war pitch.
DEBKAfile’s Washington and intelligence sources find that the campaign is prompted by five motives:
1. The president-elect not only proposes to put relations with Moscow on a new and different footing, his transition teams are already at work with Putin’s advisers to chart areas of cooperation between the two powers, ready for the Trump administration to go forward when he moves into the White House on Jan. 20. Continue reading