Last Updated Dec 12, 2016 11:20 AM EST
Kellyanne Conway on Monday suggested that reports about the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered with the election to help bring about a victory for president-elect Donald Trump is just an excuse for Hillary Clinton’s loss.
In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” the senior adviser to President-elect Trump, said people keep blaming other people or situations for the Democratic nominee losing the election.
“We’re surrounded by election deniers,” Conway said, adding that first FBI Director James Comey was blamed, then it was Russian interference and then it was Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Democratic primary bid.
“It’s always something other than Hillary Clinton’s fault as to why she lost and we’re not going to accept that,” Conway said. “We’re not going to allow people to insinuate and insult the president-elect and the tremendous victory he had.”
Asked if Mr. Trump trusts the CIA, Conway said that “he does” and that he has “tremendous respect” for the U.S. intelligence community.
Conway also defended the president-elect’s decision to reject the intelligence community’s assessment.
“What he believes is we should have evidence, not these off-the-record, unsourced quotes and leaks from a House Intelligence Committee where now you have the FBI arguing with the CIA.”
Mr. Trump continued to tweet about the CIA’s assessment Monday morning, suggesting that Democrats are playing a “Russia/CIA card.”
On the process to nominate a secretary of state, Conway said that the official announcement will come soon.
“The president-elect will make his final announcement mid-week, he told me yesterday,” she said.
While she described Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO Rex Tillerson as a “leading candidate,” she also confirmed that other people are still in the running. She dismissed criticisms that Tillerson has close ties to the Russian government.
“It’s an asset, not a liability,” she said. “It’s not like he’s hanging around with Vladimir Putin on the weekend at dinner parties. He understands Russia. He’s already doing business there. He’s had to deal with China, Russia, Yemen, the developing world, certainly the Middle East, which needs stabilization.”