Donald Trump’s Team Pushes Back on Reports Russian Hackers Sought to Influence The Election
Posted by: Fahima Paghmani
Abc News: President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is pushing back against reporting that the CIA has evidence showing the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election in an attempt to sway the race for Trump.
The transition team in a statement Friday appeared to seek to raise doubts about the allegations of Russian interference by questioning the abilities of U.S. intelligence agencies.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the transition team statement said. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
The Washington Post and The New York Times in separate reports late Friday said the CIA presented evidence to some lawmakers that Russia sought to help Trump win.
U.S. officials familiar with the intelligence confirmed to ABC News that Russians hacked the computer systems of both Republican and Democratic organizations but leaked information only from Democrats’ accounts. However, intelligence officials told ABC News that the fact that only Democrats’ information was released isn’t enough to prove the motivations of the Russian actors.
One official told ABC News that in recent weeks U.S. intelligence uncovered information that "added a different layer" and "added clarity" to the government’s understanding of Russia’s role in hacking U.S. political institutions, but the official would not go so far as to say that Russia was motivated to get Trump elected.
Meanwhile, the Trump transition team’s statement questioning the credibility of U.S. intelligence was deeply disturbing to many in the intelligence community, one official told ABC News. “That sent hard ripples across the intelligence community” and left many people angry, the official said.
On Saturday, the RNC’s communications director, Sean Spicer, denied the New York Times’ report that the GOP committee was hacked by Russians. Spicer also asserted that there is no proof Russian hacking altered the outcome of the election.
“What proof does anyone have that they affected the outcome?” Spicer said a heated interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish. “Zero. Show me what facts have actually shown that anything undermined that election.”
The reports in the Washington Post and New York Times appeared Friday after President Obama ordered a "full review" of Russian hacking related to the 2016 election and of any other election-related hacking going back to the 2008 election.