Trump: ‘I think it was Russia’ behind election hacks
US President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he believed that Russia was behind cyber attacks that rock the 2016 American presidential election
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I also think we’ve been hacked by other countries, other people,” Trump said.
He however, insisted that it would be an “asset, not a liability” if he gets along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but admitted it was not a given that the pair would be allies.
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia,” Trump told a press conference — his first since winning the November presidential election.
“I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t,” he added, in the wake of explosive allegations about his dealings with Russia and purported intelligence gathered by Moscow about him.
Trump also dismissed a dossier with allegations Russia has compromising material on him as a “phony report” and spent much of his time at the press conference fighting off burden of allegations that his aides colluded with the Kremlin to win the US election.
The 70-year-old billionaire angrily accused CNN of being “fake news” and called BuzzFeed — which published a dossier with the allegedly incriminating material drawn up by a former British intelligence agent hired to do “opposition research” on Trump — a “failing pile of garbage.”
“It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said, referring to allegations of lurid behavior in a Moscow hotel room.
“It was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together,” Trump said.
“I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out,” Trump said.
It “was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record,” Trump said, later saying it was “disgraceful.”
On Twitter, he earlier decried a political “witch hunt” against him and asked: “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
Trump dodged specific questions about whether his campaign had contacts with Russian intelligence, instead tearing into reporters whose outlets reported the suggestions of compromising material.
“I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news,” he said to a CNN reporter, igniting a fresh raft of questions about his respect for constitutional guarantees about the free press.
Trump warned BuzzFeed they would “suffer the consequences.”