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US Intelligence Officials: Russian Cyber Attacks Are ‘Major Threat’

US intelligence agencies say Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Party organizations and operatives before the presidential election to influence the outcome.

US President-elect Donald Trump has expressed skepticism about the findings, heading for a conflict over the issue with Democrats and some fellow Republicans in Congress.

Many US lawmakers are concerned about Moscow's policies in Europe and the Middle East and distrust Trump's praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

American intelligence officials have said the Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Trump defeat his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Moscow denies the hacking allegations.

Trump and top advisers believe Democrats are trying to delegitimize his election victory by accusing Russia of helping him.

Last week, outgoing President Barack Obama ordered a series of economic sanctions against Russia, as well as expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats over the hacking allegations.

Emails allegedly stolen by Russia from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were leaked to the media by WikiLeaks prior to the election, embarrassing the Clinton campaign.

In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump expressed doubt on Russia's role in the leaks, writing: "(WikiLeaks founder) Julian Assange said 'a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta' - why was DNC so careless? Also said the Russians did not give him the info!"

During the hearing, Senator John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, asked Clapper whether he believed WikiLeaks' Assange had put American lives in direct danger. He said he agreed. Clapper also said he did not think Assange had any credibility.

Source: Al Alam News Network


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