Kellyanne Conway Dismisses CIA Report on Russia: "We're Just Surrounded by Election Deniers"

Courtesy of CBS News
Kellyanne Conway on 'CBS This Morning'

"It's always something other than Hillary Clinton's fault as to why she lost," says Conway, who defended Trump's response to the hacking assessment on CBS.

On the heels of Donald Trump calling the recent CIA assessment of Russian hacking "ridiculous," his senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Monday that the reports of Russian interference is more conflation from "election deniers."

On Sunday, Trump blamed "very embarrassed" Democrats for the public release of the CIA's conclusion that Russia sought to influence the U.S. election on behalf of Trump.

Conway appeared on Monday's CBS This Morning and when she was pressed about the findings she dismissed the CIA assessment as an attempt to "revisit the election results."

"All American intelligence agencies believe the Russians did it. Why doesn't the president-elect?" asked Charlie Rose about Trump's stance on the hacking.

"What he believes is that we should have evidence, not these off-the-record, unsourced quotes and leaks from a House intelligence committee where now you have the FBI arguing with the CIA over it," she replied. "There is no clarity between them. We don't have a single source—"

Rose interrupted Conway to say that both the FBI and CIA agree on one thing: That the Russians hacked.

"We're just surrounded by election deniers," said Conway. "First it's [FBI's] Jim Comey's fault. Then it's a bunch of people in a movement that we don't know and we're not associated with and that we've denounced time and time again. Then it's Russian interference. Oh wait, it's Bernie Sanders. How dare he run in the primary. He won 22 states and 13 million votes. It's always something other than Hillary Clinton's fault as to why she lost."

She continued, "And we're not going to accept that. We're not going to allow people to insinuate or, indeed, insult the president-elect and the tremendous victory that he had."

Conway went on to say that Trump does trust the CIA, despite the response issued by his transition team over the findings, which said, "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."

When Rose said that it could be true that Russia tried to influence the election but that Trump won by other means, Conway said: "That's right. It could be true. But we don't know that,"

She added, "Vladimir Putin didn't tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan."

Trump also tweeted about the report on Monday morning, saying, "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!" He also questioned why the claims weren't brought up ahead of the election.

On CBS, Conway said Trump is due to make an announcement mid-week about his pick for secretary of state, who is reportedly going to be ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, instead of previous frontrunner Mitt Romney.

Conway also shrugged off concerns over Tillerson's ties to Russia.

"It's not like he's hanging around with Vladmir Putin on the weekends at dinner parties," she said. "It's that he understands Russia. He's already had to do business there."

Watch the interview below.

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