President-elect Donald Trump is expressing more doubt that Russian hackers interfered with the U.S. election. He claims to have insider information about the cyberattacks and wants intelligence agencies to answer his questions.
Mr. Trump also argues that “no computer is safe” from hacking.
As the Obama administration sanctions against Russia go into effect, the president-elect will sit down this week for a full briefing with the heads of the U.S. intelligence community, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.
On New Year’s Day, the 35 Russian diplomats President Obama expelled from the country took off from outside Washington for Russia.
Just hours earlier, the president-elect was continuing to cast doubt on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia hacked U.S. cyber systems in the run up to the presidential election.
“I just want them to be sure, because it’s a pretty serious charge. … I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove,” Mr. Trump said Saturday.
Adam Schiff is the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
“If he’s going to have any credibility as president, he needs to stop talking this way. He needs to stop denigrating the intelligence community. He’s going to rely on them,” Schiff told ABC News on Sunday.
Schiff said Congress will push for more sanctions against Russia.
“They didn’t just steal data; they weaponized it. They dumped it during an election with the specific intent of influencing the outcomes of that election,” he said.
The congressional effort is likely to be bipartisan.
Republican Sen. Tom Cotton said the Obama administration sanctions were too little, too late.
“What Vladimir Putin needs is a sense of new boundaries. He’s had a free rein throughout the world over the last eight years,” Cotton told Fox News. “He needs to have a sense of boundaries and to know that costs are going to be imposed.”
That hardline comes in the wake of Mr. Trump’s praise for Putin. After the Russian leader declined to retaliate against the U.S. for imposing sanctions, Mr. Trump tweeted: “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!”
“There is a question about whether there’s a political retribution here versus a diplomatic response,” said Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s incoming press secretary.
Spicer said Putin’s delay is a sign of Mr. Trump’s power.
“But as you saw, President Putin said he’s not going to retaliate in the way he initially suggested. He wants to wait for President Trump to come in,” Spicer told ABC News. “I think that that shows you the power that President Trump has.”
Spicer also said that on day one the president-elect is going to sign executive orders to repeal Obama administration regulations, though he didn’t specify which ones.