Published: Sat, December 17, 2016
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Obama Warns US Will Respond To Alleged Russian Meddling In Election

President Barack Obama asserted Friday that a September confrontation with his Russian counterpart prompted Moscow to cease its cyber breach of the U.S. election. "Otherwise this looks extremely scurrilous", Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists during a visit to Japan.

Obama spent much of the press conference fielding questions about Russian intervention in the US election process by hacking into Democratic National Committee emails.

The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton's campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. But he's reminding the public that there's more to be done on the country's biggest problems.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at a press conference during the G20 summit meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia on Friday, September 6, 2013.

"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in the election", Mrs Clinton said, according to remarks quoted in the New York Times by reporter Amy Chozick, who covered her campaign for the newspaper.

Later on Friday, he and the first family will travel to Hawaii for their annual Christmas vacation.

Of course, how much that hacking may have helped Trump, or hurt Clinton, is impossible to gauge. "The truth is that there was nobody here who didn't have some sense about what kind of effect it might have", Obama said.

"I don't think anybody at the White House thinks it's amusing that an adversary of the United States engaged in malicious cyber activity to destabilise our democracy".

This came during the president's final press conference of 2016, and possibly the final press conference of his presidency.

Some Democrats have argued the White House was slow in naming Russian Federation as the hacking culprit, though Obama and his aides argue that pushing the intelligence community to make that assessment earlier would have appeared like political interference.

"They would be the first to acknowledge that we have done everything we can to make sure they are successful", Obama said of the Trump team, adding that "cooperation will continue".

The White House and Trump's team have been squabbling over the issue, and Trump has dismissed the US intelligence community's assessment of Russian involvement. The White House also levelled an astounding attack on Trump himself, saying he must have known of Russia's interference.

He wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the bureau's "seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election" by comparison with its overzealous investigation of Clinton's emails "shows that something is deeply broken" there. The FBI agrees that there was Russian hacking but has not as yet concluded it was meant to favour the Republican contender.

Signalling his intention to mount a "proportionate" and "meaningful" U.S. retaliatory response to the Russian attacks, Mr Obama said in his interview that he directly confronted Mr Putin about the cyberattacks when they met on the fringes of the G20 meeting of world leaders in China in September. Obama advised Trump to "think it through" before making changes the "one-China" policy, in which the US recognizes Taiwan as part of China.

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