- Tim Naftali: Trump's defensiveness on the subject shows public needs to know more about Russian disinformation
- Presidents can declassify any document, and Obama should use this authority before he leaves office, he says
The former director of the Richard Nixon Library, Timothy Naftali teaches history and public policy at NYU. The views expressed in this commentary are solely his.
(CNN)President-elect Trump's curious decision to take on the US intelligence community -- a community that will soon report to him -- over its assessment of Russian hacking and disinformation during the 2016 campaign has needlessly muddied the waters about a matter of national and international significance. "[T]here was absolutely no effect," said Trump after receiving a special highly-classified briefing, "on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines." But here's the problem: the intelligence community never publicly accused the Russians of tampering with voting machines or that the effort had decided the election. In any case, whether the hacking had any effect on a US domestic election is something that the intelligence community is not in the business of measuring.