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Iran Press TV

White House: Trump benefited from Russia hacking into 2016 election

Iran Press TV

Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:7PM

The White House says President-elect Donald Trump is the one who benefited from alleged Russian hacking into the 2016 election.

This comes as a CIA report shows that Russia interfered with the November 8 election to help him defeat his rival, Hillary Clinton.

According to the CIA report first published by the Washington Post on Friday, US intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connection to the Russian government that were part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and reduce Clinton's chances of winning.

Trump, however, described the report as "ridiculous," saying, "Every week it's another excuse."

White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed Trump's remarks on Monday, saying, "You didn't need a security clearance to figure out who benefited from malicious Russian cyber activity."

"The president-elect didn't call it into question…He certainly had a pretty good sense of whose side this activity was coming down on," Earnest added.

He said certain Republican lawmakers supporting the business mogul are "wringing their hands about this" effort.

"I think they should spare us the hand-wringing and fulfill their basic responsibility, since the bar has been raised, based on their political choices."

In its report, the Post said individuals connected to Moscow provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.

Moscow, however, has constantly denied the accusations, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that Russia "on a state level has never done this."

On Friday, President Barack Obama ordered intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of the alleged hacking and deliver a report before he leaves office on January 20.

Meanwhile, senior Republicans in the Congress have voiced support for the probe, saying their respective intelligence committees would investigate the allegations.

"Any foreign breach of our cyber-security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts," Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Monday.

"As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election," House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Trump spokesman Jason Miller ridiculed the idea of a congressional probe Monday, saying, "Really clearly, what this is is an attempt to delegitimize President-elect Trump's win."

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