NEW YORK, January 4. /TASS/. US President-elect Donald Trump has said it is very strange that his meeting with intelligence officials to be briefed over Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election has been delayed.
"The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!" Trump wrote on his Twitter page.
The "Intelligence" briefing on so-called "Russian hacking" was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 4 января 2017 г.
Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer earlier cast doubt on a US intelligence report claiming that Russia directed hacks on the Democratic National Committee to influence the US presidential election in favor of Trump.
"This report that everyone keeps talking about is not final," Spicer told CNN.
"The intelligence community is talking about wrapping it up later this week ... the idea that we are jumping to conclusions before we have a final report is frankly irresponsible," he said.
On December 29, the outgoing US administration slapped new sanctions on Moscow over the alleged hacking into US political institutions. These sanctions apply to several Russian companies, the Federal Security Service and the Main Intelligence Agency of Russia’s General Staff. Besides that, the US authorities declared 35 Russian diplomats persona non grata and shut down two recreational compounds in New York and Maryland owned by the Russian government.
Moscow has repeatedly denied any role in cyberattacks. Commenting on the new sanctions, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said they were a manifestation of aggression.
Meanwhile, Trump’s spokesman Spicer said in an interview with Fox News on Monday that the US intelligence had failed to provide "conclusive evidence" to Trump that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic Party’s computers during the presidential election.