A day after the U.S. intelligence community released a report saying Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in trying to sabotage the U.S. election, President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to tout Russia as a potential ally in solving many of the world's problems.
“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”
“When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and … both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!” Trump added.
The tweets came the morning after the release of a declassified report by U.S. intelligence agencies that concluded Russia carried out a comprehensive cyber campaign to sabotage the presidential election and sought to aid Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
In an earlier set of tweets Saturday morning, Trump said the “only reason” the hacking of Democratic email accounts was being discussed was because of the party’s embarrassment over the size of its election loss in November.
Those tweets were the latest from Trump to portray the episode in starkly partisan terms, even as some senior Republicans in Congress have called for harsher sanctions against Russia than recently ordered by President Obama.
“Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed,” Trump said in one of his tweets, referring to an election in which Clinton won the popular vote but he prevailed in the electoral college.
In another tweet Saturday morning, Trump said intelligence officials “stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results.”
“Voting machines not touched!” he added.
Trump’s comment on voting machines appeared to be consistent with the findings of the report, though it noted that Russia “obtained and maintained access” to numerous election systems that “were not involved in vote tallying.”
More broadly, intelligence officials have said that they can’t gauge what effect the release of hacked Democratic emails had on the way voters viewed the candidates.
Trump on Saturday also repeated his contention that Democrats were largely to blame for their accounts being hacked. Hackers penetrated email at the Democratic National Committee and of John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s campaign.
“Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place,” Trump tweeted. “The Republican National Committee had strong defense!”