Trump mocks Russian hacking ‘conspiracy theory’

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President-elect Donald Trump tells Fox News: "I think it's ridiculous, I think it's just another excuse"
President-elect Donald Trump tells Fox News: “I think it’s ridiculous, I think it’s just another excuse”

(BBC) Donald Trump has poured fresh scorn on US intelligence claims of Russian hackers meddling in the US election.

He tweeted: “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”

The US president-elect also questioned why the alleged cyber-attacks were not widely made public before the election.

His remarks set the incoming commander-in-chief against intelligence services that he will preside over.

“Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?” Mr Trump tweeted on Monday morning.

His latest Twitter tirade comes a day after he told Fox News the Democrats were disseminating the “ridiculous” hacking reports because they were embarrassed at the scale of the election defeat.

On Friday, CIA officials told US media they had concluded that Russians hackers had attempted to sway the US election in Mr Trump’s favour.

The Trump team responded to those reports in a statement: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

On Sunday, John Bolton, the former US envoy to the UN who is tipped to be named deputy secretary of state in the Trump administration, told Fox News that claims of Russian hacking could be a “false flag”.

Mr Bolton, who was one of the Bush administration’s most vocal advocates for Iraq War, told the network: “It is not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation.”

“If you think the Russians did this, why did they leave fingerprints?” he added.

President Barack Obama has ordered a complete review of the hacks, which targeted emails at the Democratic Party and the emails of a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The contents of the emails, passed to Wikileaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.

Senior Republicans have now joined Democrats in calling for a full investigation.

Republican Senator John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a joint statement on Sunday with top Democrats that the CIA’s report “should alarm every American”.

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