President-elect Donald Trump slammed Democratic lawmakers and the mainstream media for claiming the Russian government meddled in last month's election to tip the odds in his favor, a conclusion privately reached among CIA officials, according to a report last week.
"If you look at the story and you take a look at what they said, there's great confusion. Nobody really knows, and hacking is very interesting," Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace in an interview aired Sunday. "Once they hack, if you don't catch them in the act, you're not going to catch them. They have no idea if it's Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place."
"Every week it's another excuse," Trump said.
Trump said the story was planted by Democrats who are still grappling with "one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country."
"It's ridiculous. We ought to get back to making America great again, which is what we're going to do. And we've already started the process," he said.
According to the Washington Post, top intelligence officials concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the most recent presidential election not just to undermine the American public's confidence in the country's political system, but to boost Trump's chances of making it to the Oval Office. However, a senior U.S. official told the Post there were "minor disagreements" among some officials involved in the CIA's assessment about the role Russia may have played in influencing the election outcome.
"They're not sure. They're fighting among themselves," Trump told Wallace.
Despite his criticism of the conclusion, the incoming Republican president said the report will not affect his relationship with the U.S. intelligence community once he takes office in January.
"I mean, we're going to have different people coming in because we have our people. They have their people and I have great respect for them. But if you read the stories ... I mean, they're disputing and certain groups don't necessarily agree," Trump said. "Personally, it could be Russia. I don't really think it is, but who knows?"
"They don't know and I don't know," he added.