No evidence has emerged to suggest Russian hacking influenced the outcome of the US presidential election and it would be irresponsible to jump to conclusions before receiving a final intelligence report, Donald Trump’s spokesman says.
“There is zero evidence that they influenced the election,” Sean Spicer told Fox News on Monday.
Due to become White House press secretary when Mr Trump enters the White House on January 20, Mr Spicer told CNN the president-elect would see the intelligence report once it was completed later this week.
On Saturday, Mr Trump warned against being quick to pin the blame on Russia for the hacking of US emails.
The idea that we’re jumping to conclusions before we have a final report is irresponsible.”
President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies last week for alleged Kremlin involvement in hacking that intelligence officials said aimed to help Republican Mr Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election.
Leading lawmakers from both parties have voiced alarm at the suggestion of Russian interference, whether or not it made a difference in the outcome.
Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has scheduled a Thursday hearing on foreign cyber threats.
Calling for closer ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr Trump has repeatedly played down the hacking affair.
Over the weekend Mr Trump said he knew “things that other people don’t know” and would disclose some information on the issue on Tuesday or Wednesday. He gave no further detail.
“He’s going to talk about his conclusions and where he thinks things stand,” Mr Spicer told CNN.
“He’s not going to reveal anything that was privileged or shared with him classified.”