Questions About Hacking Swirl as Trump Enters Critical Week | NBC Southern California
Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first 100 days

Questions About Hacking Swirl as Trump Enters Critical Week

Trump's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday that Trump indeed has accepted that Russia was responsible for the hacking

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    President-elect Donald Trump protests an NBC News report that U.S. intelligence points to Vladimir Putin personally approving a Russian hack of a Hillary Clinton staffer. (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

    President-elect Donald Trump and his aides are entering a crucial week in his presidential transition as he and his Cabinet nominees undergo public questioning about their approach to Russia and potential conflicts of interests.

    Most pressing during the upcoming days of confirmation hearings and Trump's first press conference in six months likely will be whether he accepts the conclusion of U.S. intelligence officials that Russia meddled in the U.S. election to help him win the White House.

    Trump's incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said Sunday that Trump indeed has accepted that Russia was responsible for the hacking, which targeted the Democratic National Committee and a top aide to former rival Hillary Clinton.

    "He's not denying that entities in Russia were behind this particular campaign," Priebus said in a Sunday television interview.

    Pig Escapes Slaughterhouse Fate, Sells Original Paintings

    [NATL] Pig Escapes Slaughterhouse Fate, Sells Original Paintings

    A pig who escaped slaughter is now living out her life in a South African sanctuary and painting original works that have sold for up to $2,000.

    "She was really small when I rescued her," said Joanne Lefson, who manages the South African Farm Sanctuary, a haven for rescued farm animals where the pig now lives. "She's very smart and intelligent so I placed a few balls and some paintbrushes and things in her pen, and it wasn't long before I discovered that she really liked the bristles and the paintbrush...She just really took a knack for it."

    Funds from the art sales go towards the sanctuary.

    (Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017)

    That's more than Trump himself has said. As for potential retaliation, aides said those are decisions that Trump will make after he becomes president on Jan. 20.

    Intelligence officials allege that Moscow directed a series of hacks in order to help Trump win the White House in the race against Clinton. Trump has expressed skepticism about Russia's role and declined to say whether he agrees that the meddling was done on his behalf.

    In an interview with The Associated Press after a briefing on the findings, Trump said he "learned a lot" from his discussions with intelligence officials, but he declined to say whether he accepted their assertion about Russia's motives. Trump has said that improving relations with Russia would be a good thing and that only "stupid" people would disagree.

    "My suspicion is these hopes will be dashed pretty quickly," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "The Russians are clearly a big adversary. And they demonstrated it by trying to mess around in our election.

    Clinton Gives First Major Post-Election Speech

    [NATL] Hillary Clinton Gives First Major Post-Election Speech at Event for Businesswomen

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her first major public speech on Tuesday since losing the 2016 presidential election, speaking at a meeting of the Professional Businesswomen of California organization in San Fransisco, California.

    (Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017)

    An unclassified version of the report directly tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to election meddling and said that Moscow had a "clear preference" for Trump over Clinton. Trump and his allies have bristled at any implication that the meddling helped him win the election. He won the Electoral College vote with 306 votes, well over the 270 votes required to become president.

    Accepting those findings would be a positive step, but not enough, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who is calling for more penalties against Russia.

    "He's going to be the defender of the free world here pretty soon," said Graham, a frequent Trump critic. "All I'm asking him is to acknowledge that Russia interfered, and push back. It could be Iran next time. It could be China."

    The developments come during a consequential week for Trump, who will become the nation's 45th president on Jan. 20.

    Beginning Tuesday, the Senate is to hold the first of at least nine hearings this week on Trump's Cabinet picks. But Democrats have voiced objections to the pace set by the Republican majority. The government ethics office says it hasn't received even draft financial disclosure reports for some of the nominees set to appear before Congress this week.

    And on Wednesday, Trump is scheduled to hold a long-delayed news conference to describe his plans for his global business empire to avoid conflicts of interest while he's president. While Trump has taken sporadic questions from reporters, it will be his first full-fledged news conference since July 27.