Washington: US President-elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he thought it was Russia behind the cyberattacks targetting the 2016 US presidential election.
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” Xinhua quoted Trump as saying at his first press conference in New York since winning the election in November.
“He (Russian President Vladimir Putin) should not be doing it. He won’t be doing it,” said Trump, adding, “Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I’m leading than when other people have led it.” Trump’s first public acknowledgement came after months of denial and sometimes even disparagement of US intelligence community.
Since October, the US intelligence community had accused Russians of being responsible for the hacking that led to the leaking of damaging materials which dogged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton till the Election Day.
On Friday, the US intelligence released a report, accusing Putin of ordering “an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” in order to “undermine public faith in the US democratic process.”
Moscow on Monday refuted accusations of Russia’s involvement in cyberattacks during the US 2016 election, saying that it was a “tiresome witch-hunt.”