President-elect Donald Trump condemned Russia critics on Saturday, calling those who oppose better relations with Moscow “stupid” people and “fools” in his latest Twitter tirade.
His attack comes a day after the Republican president-elect met the country’s leading intelligence agency chiefs -- including the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, and CIA chief John Brennan -- who told him that Russian President Vladimir Putin directed a vast cyberattack and leaking campaign aimed at helping install Trump in the White House.
“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing,” he tweeted on Saturday. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!” “When I am President,” he added, “Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”
But the formal announcement of former Indiana Senator Dan Coats as Trump’s pick for US director of national intelligence, also on Saturday, may go at least a little toward reassuring those critical of Trump’s praise for Putin and desire to improve relations with Moscow. A mild-mannered former ambassador to Germany who also served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Coats, 73, has been a vocal critic of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
WASHINGTON AFP Jan7, 2017