President-elect Donald Trump on Friday called for lawmakers to investigate U.S. intelligence leaks to NBC about information on Russian interference in the presidential election.
“I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it,” Trump tweeted Friday.
NBC News on Thursday reported that U.S. intelligence found evidence of Russian officials celebrating Trump’s election.
The NBC report cited “a senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge” of the intel report that was delivered to President Obama on Thursday and is scheduled to be delivered to Trump on Friday.
“Highly classified intercepts illustrate Russian government planning and direction of a multifaceted campaign by Moscow to undermine the integrity of the American political system,” NBC quotes the source saying.
“What you will see is that there were evolving goals over time. At the end, they were trying to elect Trump,” the source said.
The source added that the evidence of Russia’s involvement in the hacks, and its goal of helping Trump, is clear.
A declassified version of the report is expected to be released to the public on Friday.
Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and incoming national security aides are slated to receive a classified briefing before that release.
Congress is already playing a major role in the discussion over Russia’s alleged role in Trump’s victory, with a flurry of hearings on Capitol Hill this week and next.
NBC’s story came after The Washington Post first reported details from the review.
Trump first criticized NBC’s report on Thursday, tweeting: “How did NBC get ‘an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?’ Who gave them this report and why? Politics!”
The U.S. intelligence community in October publicly blamed Russia for hacking Democratic groups, leading to damaging leaks of private emails. A secret CIA assessment reportedly concluded that the Kremlin acted specifically to help Trump win.
But Trump continues to preach skepticism on whether Russia is to blame, blasting the dispute as an attack on his incoming administration’s legitimacy.
Trump has had an antagonistic relationship with most of the media since the start of his campaign and has frequently singled out NBC and MSNBC as well as individual reporters, including reporter Katy Tur, for criticism.
The criticism extends both to the network’s political coverage and its regular programming. Trump has taken offense to the portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live,” also owned by the network, and earlier Friday criticized the ratings of “New Celebrity Apprentice,” a relaunched version of his longtime reality show with Arnold Schwarzenegger as the host.