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Aide: Trump Accepts U.S. Intelligence On Russia Cyberattacks

Reince Priebus (file photo)
Reince Priebus (file photo)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia tried to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, his incoming chief of staff says.

Reince Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman, said on January 8 that Trump "accepts the fact that Russia and other entities engaged in cyberattacks" against the country.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed claims that Moscow meddled in the election on his behalf, saying that those charges are the product of his political opponents trying to undermine his election victory.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged Trump to punish Russia for trying to interfere in the election, as U.S. intelligence agencies allege.

"He's going to be the defender of the free world here pretty soon," Graham, a frequent Trump critic, told NBC's Meet The Press broadcast on January 8.

''All I'm asking him is to acknowledge that Russia interfered, and push back. It could be Iran next time. It could be China."

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the hacking campaign to influence the presidential election and help Trump.

A declassified report, released on January 6 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said the effort aimed to help Trump by discrediting his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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