Authorities in the US are claiming Russian hackers helped Donald Trump to win the presidential elections.
Quoting “senior officials” in the current administration, the New York Times says US intelligence agencies presented evidence of “successful” hacking efforts to President Barack Obama.
Both the Democratic National Congress and the Republican National Congress were hacked, the FBI told Obama government officials.
One senior administration official was quoted in NYT as saying: “We now have high confidence that they hacked the DNC and the RNC, and conspicuously released no documents.”US authorities claim Russian hackers helped Donald Trump to win election Click To Tweet
The reason the intelligence agencies concluded that the hackers were helping Trump was because while information which would negatively affect Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign was leaked to the public, no such information was made available about Republican Trump.
The director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, said the release of hacked information was not casual or arbitrary.
In comments reported in the Wall Street Journal, Rogers said: “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state [Russia] to attempt to achieve a specific effect. This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily.”
President-elect Trump has responded through a televised interview on Fox News, in which he called the claims “ridiculous”. He said: “I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.”
And his transition office released a statement, which said: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again’.”
And in another interview, this time with Time magazine, Trump said he does not believe the Russians interfered, claiming the hackers could be from Communist China, or “it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey”.
However, senior figures from his own party have claimed Russians did interfere in the US presidential election, among them Senator John McCain, who said Trump should accept the facts.
“”The facts are there,” McCain said in a television interview on CBS.
However, Trump has already moved on from the claims of Russians hacking the US elections and started an argument with China by directly talking to the leader of Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen.
Diplomatic protocol has previously prevented US leaders from directly dealing with the leadership of Taiwan, which China views as a renegade province and a part of the country under its “One China” policy.
But Trump dismissed the furore, saying: “I don’t want China dictating to me and this was a call put in to me.
“It was a very nice call. Short. And why should some other nation be able to say I can’t take a call?
“I think it actually would’ve been very disrespectful, to be honest with you, not taking it.”
Nonetheless, the call prompted China to lodge a protest, or “stern representations” to the “relevant US side”, as a Chinese Foreign Ministry official put it.