Taking aim at Tillerson instead

Rather than comment on what was potentially the biggest news of his entire political career—the reported interference in a US election by a foreign force—senator and former presidential hopeful Marco Rubio decided over the weekend to target Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil executive Rex Tillerson, for his close ties to Putin instead.

Tillerson’s nomination could be threatened by the Foreign Relations Committee, which includes Rubio.

Express concern, but do nothing

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said through a spokeswoman that foreign interference in US elections is “unacceptable,” but stopped short of suggesting Congress do anything about it, adding that “he rejects any politicization of intelligence matters.”

Ryan said on Dec. 9—before the report about Russian interference came out—that he had had a “very exciting meeting” with Trump, which was reportedly about dismantling the US government-backed healthcare system. This is the same Ryan, remember, who slammed Trump in July for making racist comments about a judge and two months ago split with him publicly for his comments about sexually assaulting women.

Shrug, blame Hillary

One Republican acknowledged the report of Russian intervention, but suggested it didn’t matter.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s new chief of staff, said that Trump “trusts the CIA” (despite the Trump team’s earlier statement attacking the agency), and denied (falsely) that a previous intelligence assessment had named Russia as being responsible. In any case, he also said, Clinton lost the election not because of Russian hacking but because she didn’t campaign enough in key battleground states.

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