Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) said Monday that it was “fair” for President Donald Trump “to cast doubt” on the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election while Trump stood next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at a joint press conference Monday.
Referencing FBI agent Peter Strzok’s recent congressional testimony, and the “downgrading of Hillary Clinton’s criminal activity,” Issa said “for the President to cast doubt is not unreasonable.”
At the same time, he said, “we take those charges seriously, and so I personally would neither rule in nor rule out the validity of a very interesting and odd-timed indictment of people who can never be brought to justice, and for whom there’s even a question of, how do we know? Did we use spy technique in order to find out? Did we hack them in order to find out who they were?”
Issa called Putin “evil” and Russia an “adverse entity to the United States.”
“We don’t extradite our spies,” Issa said, asked if he was upset Trump didn’t ask Putin to hand over the 12 Russian intelligence officers recently charged in the course of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. “And vice versa,” he added.
“At the same time,” he said, “I want to see the information in those indictments go forward.”
“Let’s flesh this out and see if it’s real,” he added.
Watch below via CNN:
GOP Rep. Darrell Issa: “I think for the President to cast doubt is appropriate” on the validity of some things in the US intelligence community https://t.co/orXS8nz82J
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 16, 2018