Vice President-elect Pence: Trump expressed 'healthy American skepticism' about US intelligence conclusions

Pence: Trump is skeptical on intelligence conclusions

President-elect Donald Trump's recent questions about U.S. intelligence agencies were "sincere" and showed a "healthy American skepticism," Vice President-elect Mike Pence told reporters Wednesday.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump tweeted some of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's comments regarding the hacking of Democratic email accounts during the campaign.

@realDonaldTrump: "Julian Assange said "a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta" - why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!"

When asked about the president-elect's use of Assange to cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence reports of Russia's alleged involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, Pence confirmed that he and Trump will receive a briefing from the leadership of U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday.

"I think the president-elect has expressed his very sincere and healthy American skepticism about intelligence conclusions, but we're going to sit down later this week," Pence said.

Assange has criticized U.S. intelligence reports suggesting that Russia hacked the DNC, allowing WikiLeaks to publish emails belonging to several aides to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday night, Trump suggested the intelligence briefing was delayed to allow for more time to "build a case" against Russia.

@realDonaldTrump: The "Intelligence" briefing on so-called "Russian hacking" was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!

However, two U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News the briefing had always had been scheduled for Friday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. They said it would be conducted by senior leaders, including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, National Security Agency Chief Mike Rogers, CIA Director John Brennan and FBI chief James Comey.

Another well-placed senior intelligence official, however, told NBC News that the Trump transition team had at one point been notified that the briefing would occur on Wednesday, and this may explain his tweet.

—NBC News contributed to this report.