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Trump says CIA finding Russia helped him win election is 'just another excuse'

Trump dismissed the reports as an attempt by Democrats to excuse their election loss.

Trump acknowledges spectators during the first half of the Army-Navy NCAA college football game in Baltimore yesterday.
Trump acknowledges spectators during the first half of the Army-Navy NCAA college football game in Baltimore yesterday.
Image: AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

US PRESIDENT-ELECT Donald Trump rejected the CIA’s reported conclusion that Russia intervened to help him win the US election, saying in an interview broadcast today that the idea is “ridiculous.”

“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News Sunday recorded yesterday.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said.

US intelligence had previously linked Russia to leaks of damaging email from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign but saw it as a broad bid to undermine confidence in the US political process.

On Friday, however, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has concluded that the aim of the cyber intrusions was to help Trump win the election. The Post story added that a hack on Republican data wasn’t published.

Trump dismissed the reports as an attempt by Democrats to excuse their election loss.

He said there was “great confusion” within the intelligence agencies, whom he portrayed as fighting among themselves.

“Nobody really knows. And hacking is very interesting. Once they hack, if you don’t catch them in the act, you’re not going to catch them. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. They have no idea,” he said.

Trump, who has eschewed traditional daily intelligence briefings, suggested he intends to bring in his own people to lead the spy agencies once he assumes office.

“We’re going to have different people coming in because we have our people, they have their people. And I have great respect for them. But if you read the stories, the various stories, they’re disputing. And certain groups don’t necessarily agree.”

Trump has long said the culprit could be China or just a random hacker sitting on a couch. The CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Russia sought to influence the US election on behalf of the Republican.

However, Senator John McCain says the Senate Armed Services Committee will go to work “immediately” to investigate the allegations.

© – AFP, 2016

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