- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 7, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday continued to dismiss the impact hacking had on his recent White House win, all the while accusing “totally embarrassed” Democrats of refusing to drop lingering claims of state-sponsored inference.

Less than a day after being briefed by the U.S. intelligence community with respect to what the the government has described as Russia’s “boldest effort yet” to influence an American election, Mr. Trump launched a brief Twitter tirade Saturday morning devoted to addressing ever-present complaints concerning the alleged Kremlin-led hacking campaign waged against the Democratic National Committee and the president-elect’s former White House rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!” Mr. Trumpwrote from his Twitter account Saturday morning.

“Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!” he said in a follow-up tweet.

Mr. Trump’s latest musings continued from where he left off Friday evening when he took to Twitter to offer his opinion of the DNC breach following the release of a declassified report detailing the U.S. intelligence community’s findings with respect to a hacking campaign waged during the course of the White House race.

Echoing earlier findings, the report said that the Russian government attempted to influence the outcome of the contest by directing hackers to infiltrate various Democratic targets during the run-up to the Nov. 8 election, including DNC computers. That successful intrusion and other similar breaches resulted in hackers obtaining a trove of privileged emails that were then published online by websites including WikiLeaks in the weeks before Mr. Trump ultimately defeated his Democratic rival.

After being briefed on the intelligence community’s classified findings Friday afternoon, Mr. Trump issued a statement stating “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election” due to hacking.

“Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place. The Republican National Committee had strong defense!” he tweeted later Friday evening.

Those comments and similar remarks made by the president-elect with respect to the government’s findings were quickly panned by others privy to the classified report’s contents, including Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee tweeted in response.

Trump’s statement Russian hacking had ‘absolutely no effect on outcome of the election’ is not supported by briefing, report or common sense,” said Mr. Schiff, who said it was the president-elect who exhibited “gross negligence” by having previously urged Russia publicly to hack Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.

Rounding out his Saturday morning Twitter storm, Mr. Trump rejected concerns regarding his apparent affinity for Russian President Vladimir Putin as he continues to refrain from publicly accusing his regime of interfering in the most recent White House race.

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad! We have enough problems around the world without yet another one,” Mr. Trump tweeted.

“When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”

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