Obama vows retaliation for Putin's 'interference in elections'

Obama promises to retaliate against Russia, Trump says entire thing ploy to invalidate election results.

Chana Roberts,

Putin and Obama
Putin and Obama
Reuters

US President Barack Obama promised to retaliate against Russia for "meddling in America's election process.

"I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections ... we need to take action. And we will - at a time and place of our own choosing,"Obama told NPR News on Thursday. "Some of it may be explicit and publicized, some of it may not be... But Mr. Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.

"There are still a whole range of assessments taking place among the agencies. And so when I receive a final report, you know, we'll be able to, I think, give us a comprehensive and best guess as to those motivations," Obama continued. "But that does not in any way, I think, detract from the basic point that everyone during the election perceived accurately - that in fact what the Russian hack had done was create more problems for the Clinton campaign than it had for the Trump campaign."

He also told US President-elect Donald Trump to continue the investigation against Russia, saying, "It's very important that we do not let the interfamily argument between Americans - the domestic political differences between Democrats and Republicans - obscure the need for us to stand together. It requires us not to re-litigate the election, it requires us not to point fingers."

Meanwhile, the Kremlin denied any and all involvement in the US elections and the Clinton email scandal.

"It’s time either to stop talking about this or finally to present evidence," Putin’s Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told reporters. "Otherwise it starts to look highly indecent."

In fact, sources say it is likely bitter Democrats leaked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's emails, and not Russian hackers.

Though there is still no proof Russia was actually involved in hacking Clinton's email or actively supporting Trump's campaign, White House officials also said it was a "fact" Russia helped Trump's campaign, and that Trump himself must have been aware Russia was helping him.

"Only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities," presidential spokesman Josh Earnest said in a White House briefing. "The President determined once the intelligence community had reached this assessment that a proportional response was appropriate. At this point, I don't have anything to say about whether or not that response has been carried out."

President-elect Trump has said that he does not take these claims seriously, nor does he believe Putin actually helped his campaign. Instead, Trump believes Obama's emphasis on Russian hacking is an attempt to undermine the election results.

"If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?" tweeted Trump on Thursday.

"Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?" Trump tweeted Friday.

Last week, the CIA claimed Russia helped Trump win the elections, and Clinton herself said Putin has "a personal beef" against her.

Obama has also not mentioned the fact that the State Department itself leaked hundreds out of the thousands of Clinton's emails uncovered by the FBI. These emails were either similar or identical to the WikiLeaks emails. Nor did he mention the fact Clinton gave her maid access to confidential emails, something which without a doubt influenced the election results.








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