President-elect Donald Trump insisted Friday that he’ll take cybersecurity seriously, saying he’ll appoint a task force to come up with plans to stop online attacks from the country’s adversaries.
He was briefed earlier on the role Russia may have played in stealing emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta during the election. He said there were also efforts to hack the national GOP — but he said those failed because the Republican National Committee had stronger defenses.
And after weeks of Twitter messages questioning the intelligence community’s official version of events, Mr. Trump praised American intelligence pros, saying he respects their work.
“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office,” he said.
But he hinted he’ll keep the results secret, saying the “methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm.”
Questions of Russian interference in the U.S. election have roiled the country in recent months, with some liberal activists saying it poisoned the vote and makes Mr. Trump an illegitimate president.
Several Democrats tried to raise those objections Friday as Congress officially certified the Electoral College vote that made Mr. Trump president — but their objections were all ruled out of order.
Mr. Trump had questioned the official version of events that Russian leaders ordered the hacks of the DNC and Mr. Podesta.
He didn’t repeat those questions in his statement Friday, but did insist that his election was legitimate.
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” he said.