Spox Argues Trump Isn't Skeptical Of US Intelligence Data, Just Its 'Conclusions'

Evan Vucci

President-elect Donald Trump isn't skeptical of the actual data compiled by the U.S. intelligence community, he just doubts the "conclusions" that community presents, at least according to incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Spicer told reporters on a Wednesday morning conference call that Trump is "looking forward" to hearing what FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have to say on the subject when they brief him Friday on the Russian-backed hacking of Democratic groups in the 2016 election.

"I think the data is one thing," Spicer said. "Asking people how they came to the conclusions is quite another, and I think what he wants to hear from them is, how does the raw intelligence justify the conclusion that is being presented to them?"

Spicer said there is a "big difference" between the presidential daily briefing Trump receives, which he said consists of "raw data," and a second briefing the President-elect gets from his national security team, who analyze that data. "It’s the job of the political advisors, if you will, the NSC staff and others, CIA director, DNI director, to then provide the President-elect and others with the analysis and recommendations," Spicer said. "I think the President-elect is more skeptical of the conclusions that are drawn from the raw data rather than the intelligence and the raw data that’s provided."

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