Following a briefing on Russian meddling in the U.S. election Friday, President-elect Donald Trump declared in a statement Russian hacking had “absolutely no effect” on the results of the election.
Noting that Russia, China and other countries “are consistently trying to break through” government cyber infrastructure, Trump said “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”
He called the meeting with intelligence leaders “constructive,” and said he has “tremendous respect” for the work of the intelligence community, which he has mocked in recent tweets. Ahead of the briefing Friday, Trump told called the focus on Russian hacking following the election a “political witch hunt” drummed up by his adversaries upset with the results of the election.
Trump did not address the motivation behind the Russian hacking in his statement. But he downplayed the notion that Russia’s focus on Democrat emails and not Republican emails was evidence they wanted him to win. “There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful,” he said in the statement.
Headlines on Russian meddling have dominated news coverage following the election, particularly related to murky reports that the CIA believes Russia specifically worked to help Trump win the election. CIA Director James Clapper said there were multiple motivations in a Senate hearing on the meddling Thursday, but did not comment on specifics. (RELATED: Anyone Reading About Russian Hacks And Trump Should Read This First)
A declassified version of the report is expected to be released to the public Monday.
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