Obama urges Trump to take foreign election impact seriously

2:15PM LIVESTREAM: President Obama holds final year-end news conference
China Flexes Military Might After Trump Pokes Taiwan Policy with Stick
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18 December, 2016

In his final press briefing of the year Friday, President Barack Obama slammed Russian Federation and its leader, Vladimir Putin, for attempting to meddle in the USA election.

"I think they would be the first to acknowledge that we have done everything we can", Mr. Obama said.

Obama added that after warning Putin, there was no further evidence of Russian tampering.

"I wanted to make sure that every body understood that we were playing this thing straight", Obama said.

Obama's statement came as CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials sought to rebut claims that the agencies were at odds in their assessment of Russia's role in the attacks.

Republican members of Congress are complaining that U.S. intelligence agencies are refusing to brief them widely on a classified CIA report that concluded Russian Federation hacked Democratic Party data in an effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

In their letter, the voting members requested intelligence on the matter from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the top USA intelligence official who also agreed with the CIA's conclusion.

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Obama suggested that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin knew about the hacking, and he said he warned Putin to "cut it out" during an global summit in the fall.

The message was confirmed by a US official after it was first reported by the Washington Post.

Republican members of Congress are complaining that US intelligence agencies are refusing to brief them widely on a classified CIA report that concluded Russian Federation hacked Democratic Party data in an effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Of course, how much that hacking may have helped Trump, or hurt Clinton, is impossible to gauge. Whether the Russians were trying to help elect Trump, sow confusion in the electoral process, undermine an eventual Clinton presidency or achieve a combination of those outcomes remains unclear to agents, the second official said. "Putin can weaken us just like he's trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it's OK to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people due to their faith or what they look like", he said. A congressional official denied Nunes was briefed, however.

"Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be", Obama said during an interview that aired on National Public Radio on Friday morning. Two sources said there was "no daylight" between ODNI and Central Intelligence Agency on the issue. "When you're talking about a significant cyber intrusion like this, we're talking about the highest levels of government".

Asked about Trump's dealings with China and Taiwan since the election, Obama cautioned the president-elect not to wade too deeply into foreign policy too soon.

Trump's election has upended the Democratic Party, which expected to not only win the White House but also carry the Senate. She attributed the Russian president's vendetta to her harsh criticism of the country's 2011 parliamentary elections, which she called "so flawed, so illegitimate that it was embarrassing", CBS News reported.


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