US president-elect Donald Trump vowed Saturday to pursue good relations with Russia despite an intelligence assessment that charged Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign of interference in the US presidential election.
"Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only 'stupid' people, or fools, would think that it is bad!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
"We have enough problems around the world without yet another one. When I am President, Russia will respect us far more than they do now and both countries will, perhaps, work together to solve some of the many great and pressing problems and issues of the WORLD!"
Putin "ordered" a campaign to influence the US presidential election to undermine faith in the democratic process and hurt Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton, a US intelligence assessment released Friday said.
Putin and the Russian government favoured Trump in the effort, according to an unclassified version of the classified report provided to US President Barack Obama and Trump.
Before being briefed on the report, Trump had questioned the intelligence and has not made clear whether he now supports the findings.
On Saturday, he again doubled down on charges that focus on the issue was being pushed by Democrats who were upset about losing the election.
"Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!" he tweeted.
The CIA, FBI and National Security Agency all expressed "high confidence" that Putin had sought to influence the election.
Russian military intelligence released information from hacking Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and those of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, including to WikiLeaks, the agencies concluded.
The Russian actions included not only the hacking, but also a propaganda campaign, including the spread of "fake news," reports by state broadcaster RT and a network of professional internet trolls to spread disinformation on social media.
Despite Moscow gaining access to US state and local election boards, the intelligence assessment concluded it had not compromised the actual voting tallies.
The Russian campaign was aimed at undermining the US-led liberal democratic order, which it views as a threat to Russia and Putin's regime, and sought to target Clinton because Putin blamed her for protests against his government, the report said.
Putin also believed Trump's business ties made him more likely to deal positively with Russia, pointing to his experiences with former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
Trump on Friday pledged aggressive action to stop cyberattacks and insisted "there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines."
Obama reminded his successor on Friday that "we're on the same team," after the results of the intelligence report were made public.
"One of the things I am concerned about is the degree to which we've seen a lot of commentary lately where there are Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats. That cannot be," Obama said in an interview with ABC News.
"We have to remind ourselves we're on the same team. Vladimir Putin's not on our team," Obama added in the interview, which is to be broadcast in full on Sunday.
Obama last week expelled Russian diplomats and ordered new sanctions over the hacking.