Neal wants further investigation into Russian hacking

Democrat says Trump has shown more support for Assange than intelligence community

richard neal
U.S. Rep. Richard Neal (D-Springfield) is seen here in a WWLP file image from 2015

WASHINGTON (WWLP) – Congressman Richard Neal is calling for a bipartisan congressional investigation into Russian-led hacking activities during the 2016 presidential election. The Springfield Democrat released a statement over the weekend, following a report from the nation’s top intelligence agencies that concluded Vladimir Putin and his government had hoped to meddle in the presidential election, with the intent of hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and helping Republican Donald Trump.

Neal says that it is important for members of both parties to stand together against foreign hacking and espionage, and to support the findings of the intelligence community.

“But in numerous tweets, President-elect Trump continues to be skeptical of findings, and has recently expressed more support for the national security views of controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange,” Neal wrote.

“This week, I joined more than 170 of my colleagues in the House of Representatives calling for an independent, bipartisan commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election. In my opinion, it is time to put politics aside, find out how this extraordinary security breach with Russia occurred, and hold those responsible accountable. We simply cannot let our democratic institutions to be compromised again.”

Sunday, top Trump advisor Reince Priebus said that the president-elect accepts the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia tried to meddle in the election, however Trump himself has not publicly said as much. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that America should have a positive relationship with Russia, and that only “stupid” people would not want one.

Trump also tweeted his displeasure that the intelligence report was released to NBC News before he says he or anyone actually had a chance to see it.