Trump cites Julian Assange as proof that Russia didn't hack Democrats, flouting US intelligence reports

Photo: Carl Court/Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump continued to dispute US intelligence reports that Russia strategically hacked and leaked internal emails from top Democratic sources, citing recent statements from embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

On Wednesday, the president-elect blasted out a series of tweets quoting Assange’s Tuesday interview with Fox News host and major supporter Sean Hannity in which the WikiLeaks founder parroted much of Trump’s rhetoric criticising media outlets.

“Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta’ — why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!” Trump tweeted.

The president-elect then blamed the Democratic National Committee for not taking more steps to block hackers, and claimed that DNC had not addressed the content of some leaked emails, though several top figures at the organisation resigned after emails emerged showing several offering criticism of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Since reports emerged that intelligence agencies found substantial evidence that Russia meddled in the US election, Trump has steadfastly continued to cast doubt over the credibility of US intelligence officials on the subject.

The comments came just hours after Trump mocked US intelligence agencies for postponing a private intelligence briefing scheduled for Friday on the subject of the Russian hacks.

For his part, President Barack Obama continues to ramp up pressure on Russia in the waning days of his administration.

Last week, Obama issued new sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies, and booted a number of diplomats and their families from the US.

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