Trump: Only ‘stupid’ people, fools oppose closer ties with Russia

AP PHOTO
A part of the declassified version Intelligence Community Assessment on Russia's efforts to interfere with the U.S. political process is photographed in Washington, Friday. The unclassified version was the most detailed public account to date of Russian efforts to interfere with the U.S. political process.

AP PHOTO A part of the declassified version Intelligence Community Assessment on Russia's efforts to interfere with the U.S. political process is photographed in Washington, Friday. The unclassified version was the most detailed public account to date of Russian efforts to interfere with the U.S. political process.

NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday that “only ‘stupid’ people or fools” would dismiss closer ties with Russia, and he seemed unswayed after his classified briefing on an intelligence report that accused Moscow of meddling on his behalf in the election that catapulted him to power. “Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said in a series of tweets.

He added, “We have enough problems without yet another one,” and said Russians would respect “us far more” under his administration than they do with Barack Obama.

Trump repeatedly has questioned the assessment by American intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, and a classified report presented to him Friday seemed to have little changed his thinking.

The report explicitly tied Russian President Vladimir Putin to election meddling and said that Moscow had a “clear preference” for Republican Trump in his race against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

But Trump tweeted that with the many global issues confronting the United States, it doesn’t need testy ties with Russia on the list. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad” to have a good relationship, he said, and suggested his approach might allow the adversaries to work together to solve “some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

Even as intelligences officials looked back in their reports on the election, they also made a troublesome prediction: Russia isn’t done intruding in U.S. politics and policymaking.