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Harry Reid: Russian hacking 'as big a deal as' 9/11

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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) (Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)

Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid on Tuesday compared the purported Russian hacking of the U.S. election to the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans.

“I think this is as big a deal as Watergate, as 9/11,” the retiring Nevada Democrat told BuzzFeed at an event in Washington, D.C.

"I think they should have a 9/11-type commission. I know that [Sen.] Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), [Sen.] Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and others are calling for that. I think it’s a step in the right direction. This is a scandal that’s been uncovered," he added.

Reid was referring to the CIA analysis that the Russian government hacked the Democratic National Committee and then leaked the information that proved damaging to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. Opponents of Trump say the Kremlin may have been involved to hurt Clinton's chances of becoming president and help the billionaire businessman, who has suggested it would be "nice" if the U.S. got along with Russia.

“To think that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has such good relations with the president-elect and now his new secretary of state," Reid said, referring to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whom Trump has chosen to be the next top diplomat. Tillerson's close ties to Russia as an international businessman have lawmakers on both sides of the aisle concerned.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday that he expects Tillerson's Russian connections to be "front and center" during the Senate confirmation process, Politico reported.

Relevant portion begins around the 32:00 mark:

(H/T: The Hill)

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