President Obama suggests that Putin knew of U.S. election hacking

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President Barack Obama blames the “highest level of the Russian government for hacks,” as he speaks during a news conference, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Barack Obama suggested strongly on Friday that Russia’s Vladimir Putin knew about the email hackings that roiled the U.S. presidential race, and he urged his successor, Republican Donald Trump, to back a bipartisan investigation into the matter.

CCTV America’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.Follow Daniel Ryntjes on Twitter @danielryntjes

President Obama suggests that Putin knew of U.S. election hacking

President Barack Obama suggested strongly on Friday that Russia’s Vladimir Putin knew about the email hackings that roiled the U.S. presidential race, and he urged his successor, Republican Donald Trump, to back a bipartisan investigation into the matter. CCTV America's Daniel Ryntjes reports.


“Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin,” Obama said in his year-end news conference. The president said he had warned Putin there would be serious consequences it he did not “cut it out,” though Obama did not specify the extent or timing of any U.S. retaliation for the hacking, which many Democrats believe contributed to Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

Obama also expressed bewilderment over Republican lawmakers and voters alike who now say they approve of Putin, declaring, “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave.”

Trump has dismissed recent talk about hacking and the election as “ridiculous.”

Clinton has even more directly cited Russian interference with the U.S. election. She said Thursday night, “Vladimir Putin himself directed the covert cyberattacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me.”

Obama did not publicly support that theory Friday. He did, however, chide the media for that he called an “obsession” with the flood of hacked Democratic emails that were made public during the election’s final stretch.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he was ‘dumbstruck’ by the U.S. claims that Vladimir Putin may have been personally involved.

“You know, I was shocked when I saw this news on the television, I have nothing to add. I think that the stupidity and hopelessness of such an attempt to convince people of this is obvious,” Lavrov said.

The president is ending his eighth year in office with his own popularity on the rise, though Trump’s election is expected to unwind many of Obama’s policies. He’s leaving his successor a stronger economy than he inherited, but also the intractable conflict in Syria and troubling issue of whether Russia was meddling in the U.S. election to back Trump.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that Russia interfered in the election on Trump’s behalf. The president-elect has disputed that conclusion, setting up a potential confrontation with lawmakers in both parties.

The president rejected any notion that the dispute over the origin of the hacking was disrupting efforts to smoothly transfer power to Trump. Despite fiercely criticizing each other during the election, Obama and Trump have spoken multiple times since the campaign ended.

“He has listened,” Obama said of Trump. “I can’t say he will end up implementing. But the conversations themselves have been cordial.”


Ivan Eland on the US intelligence community and the Russian hacks

To discuss in details the disagreement within the U.S. intelligence community on whether Russia is behind hack of this year’s election, CCTV America’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Ivan Eland, senior fellow and director of the Center on Peace & Liberty at The Independent Institute, Defense Analyst.


Vladmir Golstein on allegations of hacking by the Russians

To discuss the impact hacking and allegations have had on Russia, China, and U.S. relations, CCTV America’s Mike Walter spoke with Vladmir Golstein, associate professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University.

This story is by The Associated Press.