In an exchange about the hacked emails published by Wikileaks, Donald Trump insisted that Hillary Clinton was wrong to assert that the hacking of Democrats’ emails was directed by Russia, as the Director of National Intelligence asserted earlier this month.
Trump replied, “She has no idea whether it’s Russia, China or anybody else. She has no idea. Hillary, you have no idea. Our country has no idea.”
U.S. intelligence officials have not made public any proof to support their attribution of responsibility to Russia, but an unnamed U.S. intelligence official told NBC News last week that the Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election have come up in the security briefings given to both nominees for the presidency. “To profess not to know at this point is willful misrepresentation,” the official said.
Being skeptical of intelligence community assessments is arguably a good thing — but in this case, Trump’s argument sounded more like defensive know-nothingism.