President-elect Donald Trump continued Saturday to downplay Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election, claiming that Democrats were focusing on the hacking because they were “embarrassed” by their performance in November.
The FBI never requested to inspect the DNC computer that was hacked, BuzzFeed News reported this week.
A report released Friday by the FBI, CIA and NSA concludes that Russia was behind cyberattacks in the election and aimed to help Trump win. Trump, who was briefed on the hacking by U.S. intelligence officials on Friday, continued to downplay Russia’s influence in tweets Friday evening and Saturday morning.
Trump has been steadfast in his refusal to blame Russia for election tampering, despite overwhelming evidence from intelligence officials that they did interfere. The CIA and FBI both have a high degree of confidence that Moscow aimed to boost Trump’s chances in the election, while the NSA has moderate confidence.
President Barack Obamalevied sanctions against Russia last month in retaliation for the hacking, expelling 35 Russian officials from the United States and closing two Russian facilities. After Russian President Vladimir Putin declined to publicly retaliate, Trump praised him as “very smart.”
On Saturday, Trump continued to tweet in support of warmer relations with Russia. Despite his refusal to issue any kind of critique of the country, he insisted that Russia would respect the United States more when he is president.