President-elect Donald Trump today continued to push back against media reports that the CIA has evidence showing the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election in an attempt to sway the race for Trump.
"Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!" he tweeted this morning.
He has suggested that Democrats are to blame for leaks to the media that U.S. intelligence officials think Russia used hacking to try to sway the presidential election for Trump.
"I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country," he said Sunday on Fox News.
Trump provided no evidence to back his claim that Democrats were behind the leaks to the media. The recent news stories come after a joint report in October by 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was involved in hacks of election-related institutions such as the Democratic National Committee.
In a subsequent tweet, Trump continued to express doubt about Russia's involvement. "Unless you catch 'hackers' in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking," he wrote. "Why wasn't this brought up before election?"
But the issue of Russian hacking did come up before the election and was addressed in the third debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton.
"The Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race," Clinton said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. "So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation."
Trump responded, "She has no idea whether it's Russia, China or anybody else," and he continued that claim Sunday.
U.S. intelligence has "no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody," he said in the Fox News interview. "It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace. I mean, they have no idea."
The Washington Post and The New York Times reported late Friday that the CIA presented evidence to some government officials that Russia used hacking in a bid to help Trump win.
"I think it's ridiculous," he said in the Fox News interview. "I think it's just another excuse" for Democrats about their loss.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators, including Republican John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York, issued a statement Sunday morning saying that "recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American" and urged a thorough investigation.
President Barack Obama on Friday ordered a "full review" of Russian hacking related to the 2016 election and of any other election-related hacking, back to the 2008 election.
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