Donald Trump President-elect flays US intelligence over Russian hacking, briefing delayed

The president-elect praised Putin’s action on Twitter and criticised media coverage that had been harsh about Russia.

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Donald Trump.

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)
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Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction at the delayed briefing by the intelligence agencies on Russia’s involvement in the hacking that might have compromised the U.S. Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election.

Trump, who took to twitter to express his displeasure, said the delay was “very strange”.

“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case.

“Very strange!” Trump said on Twitter, reports  the correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The President-elect, who is due to be sworn-in on Jan. 20 as the 45th U.S. President, also said that he would address a press conference on Jan. 11, a day after outgoing President Barack Obama is expected to have delivered his valedictory speech.

“I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you,” the President-in-waiting said.

NAN recalls that Trump had said on Sunday that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the Russian hacking.

Fox News on Tuesday also aired an interview with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who denied that the Russians were the source of the avalanche of emails stolen from the computers of top US Democrats in the run up to the Nov.  8 election.

Trump had promised that he would release his own information “on Tuesday or Wednesday” this week.

Speaking outside his Palm Beach, Florida club, Mar-a-Lago during the New Year party, Trump who expressed lingering skepticism about intelligence assessments of Russian interference in the election, cast his declarations of doubt as an effort to seek the truth.

“I just want them to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge,” Trump said of the intelligence agencies, according to reports.

“If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong,” he added, referring to intelligence cited by the George W. Bush administration to support its march to war in 2003.

“So I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know.

“And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”

When asked what he knew that others did not, Trump demurred, saying only: “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday”.

The incoming president, who does not use email, also advised people to avoid computers when dealing with delicate material.

“It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way, because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” Trump warned.

“I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe.

“I have a boy who’s 10 years old; he can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.”

On Thursday  Obama ordered a set of retaliatory measures against Russia over the election hacking, including expelling 35 Russian diplomats and shuttingredients down of two estates that it claimed had been used for intelligence-gathering.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, declined to respond in kind to the measures, a gesture that Trump appeared to view favourably.

The president-elect praised Putin’s action on Twitter and criticised media coverage that had been harsh about Russia.

Trump, who has sought a warmer relationship with Putin, has repeatedly scoffed at the notion that Russia was behind the hacking, a stance at odds with members of his own party.

At one point, the incoming president declared that the hacking might  have been the work of “someone sitting on their bed weighing 400 pounds”.

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