President Obama blasted Republicans on Friday for disputing the legitimacy of CIA assessments about Russian interference in the election on Friday.
"Based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC, and that as a consequence, it is important for us to review all elements of that and to make sure that we are preventing that type of interference in the future," Obama said at his year-end press conference at the White House. "That shouldn't be the source of an argument."
The president said the bitter debate about how and why Russian-backed groups infiltrated Democratic inboxes was likely an aftershock of the hotly contested election. "I think part of the challenge is that it gets caught up in the carry over from the election season," he said.
Many of Obama's fellow Democrats have criticized him for not addressing the cyberattacks more directly in the days before President-elect Trump's victory. But Obama pushed back on those complaints.
"I wanted to make sure everybody understood we were playing this thing straight," Obama said, arguing any more explicit attempts to confront the hacks would have been interpreted as an effort to hurt Trump's chances.
The president also scolded members of the media for how they covered Hillary Clinton's campaign and claimed he did not "think she was treated fairly."
"I think the coverage of her ... was troubling," Obama said. "You guys wrote about it every day, every single leak, about every little juicy tidbit of political gossip," he said of the Clinton campaign emails that were posted daily by WikiLeaks during the final month of the election.
"This was an obsession that dominated the news coverage," Obama added. "So I do think it's worth us reflecting how it is that a presidential election of such importance ... with so many big issues at stake and such a contrast between the candidates, came to be dominated by these leaks."