Trump says he has inside information on Russian election hacking
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida — President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday he has information that others lack and promised to reveal his knowledge this week, reiterating again his doubts that Russia was behind cyber-meddling in the US election.
Speaking to reporters ahead of an 800-person New Year’s Eve bash at his Mar-a-Lago estate, a tuxedoed Trump maintained that another culprit aside from Russia could have been behind the election intrusion.
“It could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation,” he said.
Asked to describe what undisclosed information he knew, Trump said, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Trump has scheduled an intelligence briefing midweek on the hacking, a response to President Barack Obama’s announcement of new sanctions on Moscow in retaliation for the cyber-intrusion.
“I just want them to be sure, because it’s a pretty serious charge, and I want them to be sure. And if you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong,” Trump said, referencing failed intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq War as a reason for skepticism.
“I think it’s unfair if they don’t know,” he said. “And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove.”
Trump has repeatedly cast aside a US intelligence assessment announced in early October that Moscow was behind the hacking, despite already receiving classified intelligence briefings on the matter. He’s also praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him smart this week for withholding reciprocal sanctions on the US.
Trump’s stance has put him at odds with most congressional Republicans, who have argued for a tougher stance on Russia. Sen. John McCain, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, will convene a hearing on cyber-threats Thursday.
At Mar-a-Lago Saturday, Trump expressed deep misgivings about technology during his brief exchange with reporters positioned outside his Grand Ballroom.
“If you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old fashioned way because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” he said. “I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe.”
Scheduled to return to New York Sunday after two weeks at his Palm Beach mansion, Trump told reporters his New Year’s resolution was to “Make America Great Again.”