News World Republicans call for probe into Russian hacking

Republicans call for probe into Russian hacking

Russia hacking in US election
The most senior Republican Mitch McConnell wants a further investigation. Photo: AAP
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US Republican President-elect Donald Trump has reiterated his questions about US intelligence reports that Russia intervened in the presidential election on his behalf through targeted hacking.

In two posts on Twitter on Monday, Mr Trump also suggested that politics played a role in the reports that emerged late last week.

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” he wrote.

A second tweet said, “Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”

But US Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has added his voice to calls for bipartisan cooperation on investigations into Russian hacking aimed at interfering with the American presidential election.

“Any foreign breach of our cybersecurity measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts. This simply cannot be a partisan issue.”
Senator Mitch McConnell

US House Speaker Paul Ryan says he supports effort by the House Intelligence Committee to examine cyber threats posed to the American democratic process, but that such efforts should not cast doubt on Trump’s victory.

“Any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable. And any intervention by Russia is especially problematic,” Mr Ryan said in a statement on Monday.

The White House supports reviews by Congress of Russian interference, saying intelligence agencies have been cooperating closely with lawmakers from both parties.

“We certainly have long supported the principle of congressional review of this matter,” spokesman Josh Earnest told a news briefing on Monday.

Clinton camp joins calls

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says the Obama administration “owes it to the American people” to reveal what it knows about Russian interference in last month’s election.

Campaign chairman John Podesta, whose emails were stolen and posted on the internet, said: “Never before in the history of our Republic have we seen such an effort to undermine the bedrock of our democracy.”

Mr Podesta said the campaign supported an effort by a handful of members of the Electoral College, including a Republican who said he would not vote for Mr Trump, to be briefed on US intelligence on potential links between Mr Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Ten electors on Monday released an “open letter” to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper requesting information about ongoing investigations on ties between Mr Trump and “Russian Government interference in the election”.

Mr Podesta agrees with Senate Intelligence Democrats who last week called for Mr Obama to declassify and make public intelligence information on Russia’s attempts to interfere in the election.

“The administration owes it to the American people to explain what it knows regarding the extent and manner of Russia’s interference and this be done as soon as possible,” Mr Podesta said in a statement.

The letter from the electors, released on the social media site Medium, was written by Christine Pelosi, the daughter of top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California.

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