President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday asked once again why Russia hacking the U.S. election wasn’t brought up before Nov. 8 ― even though it was.
In a tweet, Trump wondered why the White House didn’t “complain” about the hacking until after he defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
But the White House ― and many others, including intelligence officials, Clinton and even Trump himself ― did bring up the Russian hacking before the election.
Here’s part of a New York Times report from July 26:
American intelligence agencies have told the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the theft of emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee, according to federal officials who have been briefed on the evidence.
But intelligence officials have cautioned that they are uncertain whether the electronic break-in at the committee’s computer systems was intended as fairly routine cyberespionage — of the kind the United States also conducts around the world — or as part of an effort to manipulate the 2016 presidential election.
The emails were released by WikiLeaks, whose founder, Julian Assange, has made it clear that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency. It is unclear how the documents made their way to the group. But a large sampling was published before the WikiLeaks release by several news organizations and someone who called himself “Guccifer 2.0,” who investigators now believe was an agent of the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence service.
In an interview with Time magazine published Dec. 7, Trump discussed the U.S. intelligence community’s findings about Russia stealing emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, saying he thought U.S. officials’ findings were politically motivated.
The CIA conducted a secret assessment of the U.S. election and concluded that Russia intervened in an effort to help Trump win the presidency, The Washington Post reported Dec. 9. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there’s “ample evidence” Trump was “obviously aware” Russia was involved in helping him win.
Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday that he thinks the hacking claims are “ridiculous.”
“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Trump said.
Back in July, Trump said he hoped Russia would hack into Clinton’s emails.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said at a press conference.