US president Barack Obama will take action against Russia after a new report from US intelligence officials revealed Vladimir Putin supervised the hacking of the US presidential election.
The intelligence report says under Putin, the hacking changed from an attempt to discredit American democracy into an effort to help president-elect Donald Trump.
In an interview with National Public Radio, Obama said: “I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections … we need to take action and we will.”
“At a time and a place of our own choosing. Some of it may be … explicit and publicized; some of it may not be. … Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it,” he said.
US intelligence officials have “a high level of confidence” Putin was personally involved in the hacking and leaking emails of top Democratic officials at the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Meanwhile Trump says he doesn’t believe the reports “at all,” reiterating claims that the hackers “could be somebody sitting in a bed some place.”
“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said. “I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it. I don’t know why and I think it’s just — you know, they talked about all sorts of things. Every week it’s another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College.”
Trump suggested — without citing evidence — that the report could be an attempt by Obama and Democrats to undercut him.
“I think President Obama has been terrific. He’s been, you know, very respectful of the process and everything else,” Trump said. “I don’t want anyone hacking us, and I’m not only talking about countries. I’m talking about anyone, period. But if you’re gonna to do that, I think you should not just say ‘Russia.’ You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.”
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