The Obama administration suggested Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally authorized the hacking of Democratic officials’ email accounts in the run-up to the presidential election and said it was “fact” that hacking had helped President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. The White House also leveled an astounding attack on Trump himself, saying he must have known of Russia’s interference.
No proof was offered for any of the accusations, the latest to unsettle America’s uneasy transition from eight years under Democratic President Barack Obama to a new Republican administration led by Trump. The claims of Russian meddling in the election also have heightened already debilitating tensions between Washington and Moscow over Syria, Ukraine and a host of other disagreements.
After an NBC News report quoted U.S. intelligence officials pointing the finger specifically at Putin, White House press secretary Josh Earnest pointed to an October assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that said “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
Dec. 15, 2016