Chuck Todd vs. Reince Priebus on Russian Election Disruption: "Chuck, This Is Insane"


RNC Chair Reince Priebus battles NBC's Chuck Todd about claims published this weekend in the New York Times that the Russians hacked the RNC and decided not to release what they found.

CHUCK TODD: You're ignoring The Washington Post report for obvious reasons, because you want to deny the R.N.C. aspect of that. I understand that, Reince.

REINCE PRIEBUS: No, I'm not ignoring The Washington Post report.

CHUCK TODD: The Washington Post conclusion had to do with the C.I.A.'s assessment about -- what I'm saying is do you believe, let's just clear this up, do you believe -- does the President-elect believe that Russia was trying to muddy up and get involved in the election in 2016?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Number one, you don't know it, I don't know it, and there's been no conclusive or specific report to say otherwise. So that's the first thing. The second thing I would tell you is that you don't have any proof that the outcome of the election was changed. Forget about who did the hacking.

CHUCK TODD: Do you want to know?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Even if-- someone did the hacking. No.

CHUCK TODD: Does President-elect Donald Trump want to know?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Tell me how you know.

CHUCK TODD: Does he want to know?

REINCE PRIEBUS: What specific-- of course we want to know.

CHUCK TODD: So there's going to be an investigation?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Of course we want to know.

CHUCK TODD: He wants an investigation on Capitol Hill?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Of course-- listen, I don't know what investigations he wants. But yes, we do want to know. But what I don't want to do, Chuck, is have a debate with you over an unnamed source that the article said was inconclusive over who hacked and why they hacked.

Look, someone hacked. We don't like that. I don't like it. No one wants it. We want to protect American interests. It's America first. I don't want the D.N.C. hacked. I don't want anybody hacked. But I don't know who did the hacking. That's my point.

CHUCK TODD: You dispute 17 different intelligence--

REINCE PRIEBUS: You have no idea whether the hacking even influenced the election.

CHUCK TODD: You dispute 17 different intelligence agencies that have assessed that Russia agents were behind this? You dispute this?

REINCE PRIEBUS: Chuck, this is insane. In the same article, about those 17 agencies, that the report was inconclusive. You're forgetting the most important piece.

CHUCK TODD: It was inconclusive about--

REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm not defending--

CHUCK TODD: --Vladimir Putin, Reince. It was not inconclusive--


CHUCK TODD: --that Russian agents were involved. There is a difference. And I understand why you're trying to parse this.


CHUCK TODD: But there is a difference.

REINCE PRIEBUS: I'm not trying to parse it

CHUCK TODD: Do you not believe any of this?

REINCE PRIEBUS: I don't know who did the hacking, Chuck. The article is based on a lie that the R.N.C. was hacked. So the entire premise of the article is false. The sources are unnamed. And the report was inconclusive. Listen, I don't want anyone hacked, okay? The point is, though, we need to find out more facts about this situation. Then we can make intelligent decisions later, and you and I can have more intelligent conversation about what to do about it.

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