Washington: US President-elect Donald Trump declined to single out Russia over cyber-interference in the US election after a briefing by top intelligence chiefs on Saturday, and said he was confident the outcome was not affected by hacking.
Trump also blamed the Democratic National Committee for its poor cyber security arrangements and allowing the hacking to take place. Trump tweeted on Saturday saying:
Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017
Trump made the statement after meeting four top intelligence chiefs who have concluded that senior Russian government officials were behind an unprecedented effort to influence the election by hacking and leaking documents that embarrassed Trump rival Hillary Clinton.
"While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organisations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election," he said in a statement.
A new, declassified intelligence report had earlier said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered "an influence campaign" in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election with the goal of undermining the democratic process and denigrating Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump," the report said.
"We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavourably to him," it said.
With agency inputs
Published Date: Jan 07, 2017 16:32 PM | Updated Date: Jan 07, 2017 16:33 PM