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Trump Answers Russian Hack Flap, Tagging Russia Critic for Intel Chief

01-06-2017
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President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a critic of Russia to be the nation's new director of National Intelligence.

The decision comes as Trump's rocky relationship with America's intelligence agencies over claims of Russian interference in the U.S. election continues to top headlines.

A source says Trump is picking former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, a conservative who served as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee before retiring from Congress last year.

Coats was a harsh critic of Russia and pushed the Obama administration to punish Moscow for its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

When the White House levied sanctions, the Kremlin responded by banning several lawmakers, including Coats, from traveling to Russia.

Trump is meeting with U.S. intelligence chiefs Friday, getting briefed about their assessment of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

Trump has been very skeptical of the claims that Russia hacked Democratic groups.

But WikiLeaks says they got their material from another source, and that Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman John Podesta had such an easy password a teenager could have hacked him.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., says Trump is right to be concerned about partisans using Russian hacking to question the legitimacy of his victory.

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