- The Washington Times - Friday, December 30, 2016

Rep. Gregory Meeks said Friday that President-elect Donald Trump’s stance on Russia in the wake of recently announced sanctions shows he’s siding with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and that better or more frequent intelligence briefings might not be enough to change his mind.

“He’s making statements without checking with his own intelligence and siding with someone, apparently, who has been shown to be not trustworthy in Mr. Putin,” Mr. Meeks, New York Democrat, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

In a statement Thursday, Mr. Trump said it’s time for the country to move on to bigger and better things but that he’d meet with the intelligence community next week to get updated on the situation.

The statement was an apparent response to the Obama administration’s newly announced sanctions for alleged cyber attacks aimed at disrupting the U.S. presidential election. Russia is reportedly weighing the expulsion of U.S. diplomats in retaliation for the Obama administration’s moves on Thursday.

“It tells me he’s not going to intelligence briefings — also unprecedented,” Mr. Meeks said, while also saying more briefings might not even change Mr. Trump’s mind.

“I would hope so, but I’m not sure. Because if you look at his past, despite what the facts say, he’s [decided] to go his own way,” he said.

As an example, Mr. Meeks said Mr. Trump had perpetuated what he had to have known was a falsehood when he pushed for multiple years the notion that President Obama was born outside the United States.

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