Trump taking heat for ongoing criticism of Russia hacking allegations
White House spokesman Josh Earnest says Trump should stop attacking the U.S. intelligence community. He says instead, Trump should be supporting the investigation into what occurred that President Barack Obama has ordered.
Trump’s transition team has complained that the White House has suggested Trump knew during the campaign that Russia was trying to interfere. But Earnest says its “obvious” Trump knew and that it’s a fact.
He’s also disputing Trump’s claim that he was joking when he encouraged Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails. Earnest says nobody in the White House, Congress or the intelligence community found it “funny” that a U.S. adversary was trying to “destabilize our democracy.”
On Thursday morning, Trump questioned the timing of the Russian hacking accusations by federal officials, and stated Russia’s involvement was only being raised as a possibility due to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s loss.
“Why did the White House wait so long to act?” Trump tweeted, in part.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin insists Russian President Vladimir Putin had no role in Trump’s presidential victory, and denied a report that Putin personally directed how hacked data from U.S. Democrats was used during the election.
NBC News on Wednesday quoted U.S. intelligence officials as saying that Putin “became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign.”
WATCH: White House supports congressional review of Russian hacking
Asked about the report, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Thursday dismissed it as “laughable nonsense.”
Russia, blamed by the CIA for helping President-elect Donald Trump in last month’s U.S. presidential election, has vehemently denied accusations that it orchestrated hackers to work against Clinton.
With files from Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press