Despite U.S. intelligence agencies united in the belief that Russia interfered in the American presidential election, President-elect Donald Trump, who has continually praised Russian president Vladimir Putin, doesn’t believe sanctions against Russia — and Putin — are necessary.
During a brief press conference Wednesday at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and while standing next to boxing promoter Don King, Trump told reporters that as far as continued debate on Russian interference and hacking goes, “we ought to get on with our lives.”
Then he made a statement suggesting blame should be focused on the “whole age of computer” that is complicating our lives.
“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on,” Trump said when asked about sanctions being put together by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and others to go after Putin personally. “We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind the security we need. But I have not spoken with the senators and I will certainly will be over a period of time.”
Graham said there will be sanctions coming that will hit Russia hard, and particularly Putin as an individual.
“I don’t know what he’s doing. I haven’t spoken to Sen. Graham, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken to him. As you know, he ran against me and I haven’t spoken to him,” Trump said.
Throughout his campaign and time as president-elect, Trump has steered clear of any criticism of Russia and said the idea that Russian interference helped put him in office over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is “ridiculous.”
During the campaign, emails from the Democratic National Committee and the personal account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager, were hacked and released by WikiLeaks. At one point during the campaign, Trump publicly encouraged Russia to hack into Clinton’s emails.
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said in July.
Trump said more recently that unless hackers are caught in the act, it is very difficult to catch them. However, computer and security experts have said that is not accurate.
“Nobody really knows, and hacking is very hacking is very interesting,” Trump said on “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month. “Once they hack, if you don’t catch them in the act you’re not going to catch them. They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace. I mean, they have no idea.”