Trump accepts Russia responsible for US election-related hacking

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (APP): US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday finally appeared to publicly accept that Russia was behind the hacking and release of emails from within the Democratic National Committee and from her rival Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
“I think it was Russia, but I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” Trump said at his first press conference in about four months.
The president-elect then referred to China’s alleged 2015 breach of the Office of Personnel Management. “And I can say that, you know, when we lost 22 million names and all that was lost recently, they didn’t make a big deal out of that,” he said.
Intelligence agencies declassified a report earlier this month that said Russia was likely the source of the hacks, which disclosed occasionally embarrassing internal squabbles and decisions among top Democratic Party officials.
Despite the emerging evidence, for months Trump dismissed Russia’s role in the hacking, repeatedly saying it could have instead been “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”
At Wednesday’s press conference, Trump also addressed reports that Russia hacked the Republican National Committee but did not release the findings, hypothesizing that Russia would’ve leaked the emails in a similar fashion as the DNC leaks or the leaked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“I think, frankly, if they had broken into the Republican National Committee, I think they would’ve released it just like they did about Hillary and all the horrible things that her people like Podesta said
about her,” Trump said.
After dismissing a report published on Tuesday by BuzzFeed that included unverified documents that alleged Russian intelligence agents both provided information to Trump and had compromising information about him, the president-elect said he “respected the fact” that Russian President Vladimir Putin denied the veracity of the report, and he said the two may have a good relationship.
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability,” Trump said.
“We have a horrible relationship with Russia.
Russia can help us fight ISIS, which is, number one, tricky.”
“I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin,” the president-elect added. “I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. But if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Give me a break.”
At his press conference, Trump did not speak about any of the international conflicts, nor were any questions asked about the situation in any of the hot spots around the world.
Trump says he would begin negotiations with Mexico on funding his promised wall along the southern border immediately after he takes office.
Trump’s team and Republicans in Congress have been discussing a
plan in which American taxpayers would initially cover the costs of the wall. Trump says that’s because he wants to get it started fast.
He asks, “What’s the difference? I want to get the wall started.” He adds that, “Mexico will pay for the wall, but it will be reimbursed.”
Trump is also pushing back on reports that his wall could wind up becoming more of a fence. He insists, “It’s not a fence, it’s a wall.
We’re going to build a wall.”