Trump Agrees to Intelligence Briefing After Russian Hacking Sanctions to be "Updated on the Facts"
The president-elect says he will "meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation."
After President Barack Obama struck back at Russia and announced sanctions against Moscow, President-elect Donald Trump, who had been dismissive of the country's involvement in the hacking of emails during the election, agreed to meet with intelligence officials next week to "be updated on the facts."
“It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," said Trump in a statement released by his transition team on Thursday night. "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."
On Thursday, the Obama administration announced a string of sanctions against leading Russian intelligence agencies GRU and FSB, ordered 35 Russians be expelled and shut down two Russian compounds in the U.S.
"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions," said Obama in his Thursday statement. "These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior."
The statement also said the announced actions are "not the sum total" of the U.S. response: "We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized. In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia’s efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior, and interfere with democratic governance."
Come Inauguration Day, Trump, a friend of Putin's, will have to decide whether to lift the sanctions on Russian intelligence agencies.
The 13-page report released by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI on Thursday is the first time the U.S. officially tied the election hacking to Russia since the first accusations that Russian meddling helped Trump win on Nov. 8.
Russian officials have denied any involvement in hacking U.S. political sites and emails.
In a statement Friday on the Kremlin's website, Russian President Vladimir Putin called the sanctions a "provocation aimed to further undermine Russian-American relations." He did, however, say Moscow would not expel American diplomats in retaliation.
Trump later praised Putin for holding off on any retaliatory actions. "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!" he tweeted in a post he then pinned to the top of his feed. The move was quickly noticed by users on Twitter.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
He again criticized CNN and NBC News over their coverage of the situation, saying the Russians are playing the news outlets "for such fools."
"Russians are playing @CNN and @NBCNews for such fools - funny to watch, they don't have a clue! @FoxNews totally gets it!" he tweeted late Friday afternoon.
The president-elect did not provide his reasoning for the statement.
Dec. 30, 5:30 p.m. ET: Updated with Trump tweets.