December 18, 2017

President-elect escalates challenge to US intelligence agencies

Friday, January 6, 2017

‘Russians did not give the info’

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump escalated his blunt public challenge to the US intelligence agencies, appearing to embrace WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s contention that Russia did not provide his group with the hacked Democratic emails that roiled the 2016 election.

Taking to Twitter on Wednesday, Trump noted that Assange “said Russians did not give him the info” — referring to the trove of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, a top aide to Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s defiance has increased the pressure on intelligence officials to provide decisive evidence of Russian election interference. A full report ordered by US President Barack Obama last month is expected to be finalised by week’s end, with high-level intelligence officials heading to New York today to brief Trump on the classified findings. The Obama administration also plans to make an unclassified version public before the president leaves office on January 20.

Russia not only meddled in the election, but did so to help Trump win, according to the intelligence agencies’ assessment. But the administration has so far released only limited information to support that conclusion.

Herald with AP

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