Stay tuned for hacking info
President-elect Donald Trump on New Year’s Eve teased he has more information about Russian hacking allegations that will be shared Tuesday or Wednesday.
Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort that he continues to doubt intelligence agencies’ contentions that Russia was behind hacks of Democratic Party officials, citing the 2003 intelligence failures regarding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Trump said he knows a lot about hacking and it’s hard to prove, according to The New York Times.
“So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”
Asked what he knows that others don’t, he said, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
The 1980's nostalgia tour
From Sylvester Stallone to Don King, from Bobby Knight to "The Art of the Deal," the faded icons and symbols of 30 years ago prop up a cultural landscape for President-Elect Donald Trump, as the Associated Press describes here.
And The 1600 comes via town crier?
In the same Q&A with reporters, Trump also had a tip on cybersecurity — use a courier for important information.
“If you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way, because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe. I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe.”
Trump, according to Politico, has his emails printed out for him, marks them up with a black Sharpie and has them sent back as PDFs.
Trump camp questions Russia sanctions
In response to Russian hacking, the Obama administration expelled 35 diplomats and shuttered two Russian government compounds in the U.S., including a 14-acre Upper Brookville estate, Newsday’s David Olson reported Friday.
Sean Spicer, the incoming White House communications director, on Sunday questioned whether that response was political rather than diplomatic.
Spicer, on ABC’s “This Week,” said Trump is going to be briefed by heads of intelligence agencies about Russian hacking.
“The president-elect needs to sit down with the heads of the intelligence communities next week and get a full briefing on what they knew, why they knew it, whether or not the Obama administration’s response was in proportion to the actions taken. Maybe it was; maybe it wasn’t. We need to have that,” he said.
Spicer said the United States didn’t retaliate against China after a 2015 hack of federal employee information.
“There is a question about whether there’s a political retribution here versus a diplomatic response,” he said.
Facing a divided country
Outside Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, competing camps of detractors and supporters engage in shouting matches, providing a daily reminder of the divided country Trump faces, Newsday’s Laura Figueroa reports.
In the debate over how Democrats should respond to a Trump presidency, Robert Zimmerman of Great Neck, a Democratic National Committeeman from Great Neck and a prominent Clinton supporter, still holds out hope for a Trump pivot away from Twitter attacks. He also called for Democrats to take the high road to avoid partisan gridlock. Zimmerman specifically cites not wanting to follow the obstructionist example of GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, who has held firm on points like not holding hearings for Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.
Voters have apparently shrugged off Republicans’ lack of cooperation and the GOP now controls the executive and legislative branches of government.
Biographer kicked off golf course
Trump on Friday ejected an author of a biography critical of the president-elect from his West Palm Beach golf course as he prepared to play in a foursome with billionaire David Koch, according to Politico. Harry Hurt III, author of a 1993 book “Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump” posted on Facebook Saturday that he approached Trump to congratulate him on his presidential victory and they got into a testy exchange.
What else is happening
- The Republican majority in Congress is geared up to move on a full conservative legislative agenda frustrated until now by the presence of a Democrat in the White House, the Washington Post reports.
- Commerce Secretary nominee Wilbur Ross said in 2012 that "China-bashing is wildly overdone in this country." Now he plans to serve a president who said China is "raping this country." Describing the disconnect, Politico profiles Ross as a Sinophile.
- Trump rang in the new year at a $500-plus-per-person New Year’s Eve bash at his Palm Beach Mar-a-Lago resort, with what The New York Times described as “Gatsby-like opulence” and something called “Mr. Trump’s wedge salad” on the menu.
- About that pivot — Trump tweeted a New Year’s Eve message at his “many enemies”: “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!”
- If tax breaks and incentives to keep Carrier manufacturing jobs in Indiana aren’t clear, it might be because the deal is not finalized yet, The Washington Post reports. That allows an Indiana state agency, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence is currently governor, to block open records requests.
- Trump ditched reporters again Saturday, this time to play golf at his club in nearby Jupiter, reports ABC News. Transition aide Stephanie Grisham said she and other aides were unaware of the trip and said they “don’t anticipate any additional situations like this between now and inauguration.”
- Trump told Chuck Schumer he likes the New York senator more than GOP leaders House Speaker Paul Ryan and McConnell, according to a New York Post "source."