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NEW YORK, January 11. /TASS/. U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump said on Wednesday he did not think the outgoing President Barack Obama had gone too far when authorizing anti-Russian measures over the cyber attacks the U.S. officials ascribe to Moscow.
"I don't think he went too far. No," Trump said.
He declined to say whether or not he planned to keep the anti-Russian sanctions in effect.
As he commented on the intentions of Republican senators and particularly Lyndsey Graham to toughen the sanctions, Trump said he had not hear about it.
"I hadn't heard Lindsey Graham was going to do that. Lindsey Graham," Trump said. "I've been competing with him for a long time. He is going to crack that one percent barrier one day. I didn't realize Lindsey Graham still had it."
"That's all right," he said. "I think Lindsey Graham is a nice guy. I've heard that he is a nice guy and I've been hearing it."
On December 29, 2016, Washington announced a new parcel of sanctions that targeted a number of Russian companies, the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Department (military intelligence) of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces.
The U.S. authorities also expelled 35 Russian diplomats and announced the closure of two countryside facilities in New York State and Maryland that belonged to Russia.
Officials in Moscow have denied any involvement in cyber attacks. Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov described the U.S. sanctions as manifestations of aggression.
Trump said on Wednesday he respected Moscow's statement on the absence of any materials or data that might compromise him.
"President Putin and Russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news," he said. "They said it totally never happened."
"Now, somebody would say, 'Oh, of course he's gonna say that'," Trump said. "I respected the fact that he said that."
"I'll be honest, I think if he did have something, they would've released it; they would've been glad to release it," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov refuted tha allegations that Russia ostensibly had the the data compromising American politicians.
"No, the Kremlin doesn't have any blackmail materials on Trump and the information on the opposite contravenes reality and is just sheer fantasy," he said.
CNN said in an earlier report quoting the information it had allegedly received from high-rank U.S. officials the top brass of U.S. intelligence agencies held a special briefing for Trump in New York last week where they familiarized him with the evidence on some kind of compromising personal and financial data regarding him that was presumably available to the Russian intelligence agencies.
Trump said he believes Moscow could help Washington in struggle with the Islamic State terrorist grouping, the emergence of which he attributes partly to the flaws of the Barack Obama Administration's policies.
"If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia," he said. "Russia can help us fight ISIS, which, by the way, is, number one, tricky. I mean if you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. The void was created, ISIS was formed."
Trump admitted he did not know if he would manage to establish workable relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That's called an asset, not a liability," he said.
"Now, I don't know that I'm gonna get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there's a good chance I won't," Trump said. "And if I don't, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break.".