Trump rejects election hacking allegations

Washington, Dec 12 (IANS) US President-elect Donald Trump said he does not believe the allegations by the US intelligence agencies that the Russian government helped him win the White House via election-related cyberattacks.

“I think it is just another excuse. I do not believe it … Every week it’s another excuse,” Xinhua cited Trump as talking to Fox News in an interview.

Democrats are using the so-called Russian involvement to explain their heavy election loss, Trump said in the interview.

“Once they hack if you do not catch them in the act you are not going to catch them,” Trump said, adding, “They have no idea if it is Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place.”

Trump’s remarks came following a series of US mainstream media reports saying that the CIA had determined in a secret assessment with “strong confidence” that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 US election in a special bid to help Trump.

Also on Sunday, bipartisan leaders of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, including Republican Senator John McCain and incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, issued a joint statement calling for bipartisan efforts to explore the allegations and defend the US against cyber attacks.

The Obama administration accused in October that Moscow, in attempts to disrupt the US election, was behind hackers infiltrating the Democratic National Committee and the then Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Russia immediately denied these allegations.

In the Fox interview, Trump also said he does not need daily intelligence briefings because they are so repetitive, but the vice president-elect is receiving them.

“I do not have to be told the same thing in the same words every single day for the next eight years,” Trump said, “If something should change from this point, immediately call me. I am available on one-minute’s notice.”

“I get it when I need it,” he said.

As for setting up a blind trust to manage his assets so as to avoid conflicts of interests during his presidency, Trump only said that his “executives” and his children would run his companies in his absence.

“My executives will run it with my children. It is a big company, it is a great company. But I am going to have nothing to do with management,” he said, rejecting suggestions that foreign governments and others would try to buy influence by buying into Trump products.

In the interview, Trump also indicated after taking office next month, he would re-start the Keystone and the Dakota Access pipelines which have been blocked by the Obama administration.

–IANS

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