Priebus: 'Insane' Question: 'Of Course We Didn't Interface With the Russians'

By Susan Jones | December 19, 2016 | 7:56am EST
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, soon to be White House chief of staff, joins President-elect Donald Trump on stage shortly after Trump's electoral victory. (AP File Photo)

( - Donald Trump's chief of staff nominee said neither Trump nor his campaign staff coordinated with the Russian government in the malicious hacking of Democrats' emails.

"Do you flatly deny any contact, any coordination between Mr. Trump, his campaign, his associates and the Russians in interfering?" "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace asked Reince Priebus.

"Even this question is insane," Priebus responded. "Of course we didn't interface with the Russians. I mean, this whole thing is a spin job. And I think what the Democrats ought to do is look in the mirror and face the reality that they lost the election. And they lost the election because they're so and completely out of touch with the American people that they're so shell-shocked and they can't believe it.

"And what is their response? Recounts, Russians, leaked CIA reports, and now the press secretary of the president saying that the reason Hillary Clinton lost wasn't because she blew it in Benghazi, she blew it with Russia, she blew it as secretary of state, she ignored the entire Midwest, and people didn't like the product. That's why Hillary Clinton lost."

Hillary Clinton first blamed FBI Director James Comey for her election loss, but more recently she told donors that it was Russian hacking that led to her defeat. She said Russian President Vladimir Putin had a "personal beef against me."

Priebus noted that FBI Director James Comey still hasn't weighed in publicly on the Russian hacking, although CIA Director John Brennan has. He also complained about leaks to third parties.

"And then, people like us have to answer to these third parties about something that all of these intelligence agencies have not made 100 percent clear as to what's happening."

Priebus also said there's no evidence showing that the outcome of the election was changed because John Podesta's emails were released shortly before the election. He said anyone who suggests otherwise is trying to "delegitimize" Trump's presidency.

On CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday, another top Trump adviser also was asked if anyone in the Trump campaign had "any contact with Russians trying to meddle with the election?"

"Absolutely not," Kellyanne Conway told host John Dickerson. "And I discussed that with the president-elect just last night. Those conversations never happened.

"I hear people saying it like it's a fact on television. That is just not only inaccurate and false, but it's dangerous and it does undermine our democracy."

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