Trump Again Raises Doubt Over Russia Hacking Claim
RFE/RL January 04, 2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has again cast doubt on intelligence alleging Russian meddling in the U.S. election.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe Russia directed the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) private e-mail accounts, including that of John Podesta, a top adviser to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In an interview aired on January 3, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denied that he obtained thousands of leaked Democratic e-mails from the Russian government.
Trump tweeted on December 4 in support of what Assange said and suggested that the DNC's carelessness led to the hack.
"Julian Assange said, 'a 14-year-old could have hacked Podesta,'" Trump wrote. "Why was the DNC so careless?"
"Also said Russians did not give him the info!"
On January 3, Trump said an intelligence briefing he was due to receive on the issue had been delayed until January 6, using quote marks around the word "intelligence."
"Perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!" he said on Twitter.
However, U.S. intelligence officials were quoted as saying there was no delay in the briefing schedule.
Trump spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on January 4 that the president-elect planned to meet with the CIA and FBI directors -- along with the director of national intelligence on January 6.
Spicer said that CIA Director John Brennan, FBI Director James Comey, and national intelligence chief James Clapper intend to attend the briefing with Trump on the investigation into Russia's alleged hacking efforts during the 2016 election.
Spicer also said that Trump spoke by phone with new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on January 4, but he gave no information on what the two spoke about, only noting that the new U.S. administration will press for reforms at the United Nations.
With reporting by AP, Reuters, AFP, and the BBC
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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