President-elect Donald Trump said that Russia will respect the United States “far more than they do now” once he takes office, in a series of morning tweets following the release of an intelligence report on Vladimir Putin’s role in the hacking of US systems.
Throughout his campaign, Mr Trump repeatedly praised the Russian president for his “strong control” over the country, as well as Mr Putin’s apparently favourable opinion of the New York businessman.
But Mr Trump's Saturday morning tweets appear to advocate for an alliance with Russia, despite the intelligence community’s “high confidence” that Mr Putin ordered the hacking campaign with the intention to influence the election.
“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he wrote. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”
“We have enough problems around the world without yet another one,” he continued. “When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!”
Much earlier in the morning, Mr Trump commented on the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that revealed federal intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia had been involved in a “multifaceted” cyber attack against the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
The publicly released report does not reveal the intelligence agents’ sources or methodologies for their findings – which they say were included in the highly classified versions delivered to President Barack Obama and the President-elect.
Mr Trump echoed his statement after receiving a full intelligence briefing regarding the highly classified report on Friday, and maintained the falsehood that US agencies found “absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results”.
Of course, the report discloses that the agencies “did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election”. The report only evaluated the intent behind the hacks, and had no way of gauging the effect it had on voters’ opinions and ultimate choice on Election Day.
Mr Trump went on to blame the DNC hacks on “gross negligence” by Democrats.
“Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed,” he wrote, despite his relatively narrow Electoral College win and popular vote loss by almost three million.
The conclusions delivered in the report raise concerns that US allies will now be the targets of possible Russian cyber attacks in the future.
“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts in the United States and worldwide,” the report reads, “including against US allies and their election processes.Reuse content