The team of US President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday there was no evidence to suggest that Russian hacking had influenced the 2016 US election.
“The way the mainstream media is playing this up is that they (Russia) had an influence in the election. There is zero evidence that they actually influenced the election,” said Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer in an interview with a TV channel.
In another interview with media, Spicer accused the Obama administration of “jumping to conclusions before we have a final report,” calling the behavior “irresponsible.”
The Obama administration last October officially blamed Russia for hacking US political institutions and persons to interfere with the US election process, an accusation immediately dismissed as “nonsense” by Moscow.
The episode reached its climax last December when the US daily Washington Post uncovered a secret Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) assessment report in which the agency claimed that Russia’s meddling in the US election was aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump win the White House.
According to the CIA assessment, Russians were believed to have hacked both Republican and Democratic organizations, though only damaging documents from Democrats were leaked to the public.
Russia had for long repeatedly denied being behind the cyber attacks which led to the leaking of damaging material which dogged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton till the Election Day.
Three weeks before leaving office, US President Barack Obama on Thursday struck back at Russia over alleged election hacking.
Nine Russian entities and individuals, including two Russian intelligence services, were sanctioned for their alleged interfering with the US election, Obama said in a statement.
In addition, the US State Department on Thursday announced expelling of 35 Russian government officials from the United States, calling them “acting in a manner inconsistent with their diplomatic status.”
Two Russian government-owned compounds, one in the US State of Maryland and the other in New York, would also soon be shuttered, according to the State Department.—Xinhua