Trump: Better to move on than punish Russia for hacking
President-elect Donald Trump said that the U.S. should move on rather than retaliate against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, with the Obama administration imposing sanctions on top Russian intelligence officials.
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russian government orchestrated cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee and other American political groups and then leaked information to interfere in the Nov. 8 elections. Russia has denied the accusations. Trump has said he wants to improve relations with Russia and has praised its president, Vladimir Putin.
“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday outside Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach, Florida estate, with boxing promoter Don King standing by his side. “I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on.”
Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday if the government has any proof of foreign interference in the election, it should make that evidence known. “Right now we need to see further facts based on what we do know and what’s in the public domain,” Spicer told reporters on a conference call.
President Barack Obama said Dec. 16 that the U.S. will retaliate against Russia at an unspecified time, in a “thoughtful, methodical way.” The response may be covert, public or both, he said.
Earlier Wednesday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said during a trip to the Latvian capital that Russia and Putin should expect new sanctions for meddling in the election, Reuters and AP reported.
In Florida, Trump was asked by reporters about efforts to disclose intelligence about Russian interference in the election. “They should do the best they can, figure it all out,” he said. In the past, he’s been critical of U.S. intelligence agencies.