Over the weekend, reports surfaced indicating that the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies strongly believe that Russia meddled with the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in an effort to sway the vote in favor of President-elect Donald Trump.
According to a report in the New York Times, the CIA in particular is extremely confident in its findings after discovering that Russia hacked the computer systems of both the Republican National Committee and a handful of Democratic organizations. The hackers involved in the attack, however, only released damaging information that would harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Case in point: Intelligence officials point to the phishing attack on Hillary Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, an attack that ultimately resulted in thousands of Podesta’s private emails appearing on Wikileaks shortly before the election.
Republicans meanwhile have been quick to dispute the CIA’s findings. To wit, Donald Trump’s transition team issued the following statement this past Friday: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again,’”
Driving this point home, Donald Trump appeared on Fox News earlier today and refuted the charges that he may have been elected to office on account of Russian involvement.
I think it’s ridiculous. I just think it’s another excuse. I don’t believe it. I don’t know why…. Every week it’s another excuse. We had a massive landslide victory as you know in the electoral college. I guess the final numbers are now at 306 and she’s down to a very low number. No I don’t believe that at all. If you look at the story and you look at what they said, there’s great confusion. Nobody really knows. And hacking is very interesting. Once they hack, if you don’t catch them in the act, you’re not gonna catch them. They have no idea if its Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace.
Trump also intimated that Democrats are likely circulating the story in order to undermine his Presidency.