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Barack Obama promises retaliation for Russian election hacking

Barack Obama promises retaliation for Russian election hacking

“We need to take action and we will,” he told US public radio network NPR, according to the BBC.

Russia stands accused by the US of hacking the emails of the Democratic Party and a key Hillary Clinton aide, which the Kremlin strongly denies.

Republican president-elect Donald Trump has also dismissed the claim as “ridiculous” and politically motivated.

The intelligence agencies say they have overwhelming evidence that Russian hackers linked to the Kremlin were behind the hacks.

And on Thursday, a White House spokesman said President Vladimir Putin was involved in the cyber-attacks.

Hours later, President Obama said: “I think there’s no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact on the integrity of our elections, that we need to take action and we will, at a time and a place of our own choosing.

“Some of it may be explicit and publicized. Some of it may not be.”

“Mr Putin is well aware of my feelings about this, because I spoke to him directly about it.”

It is not clear what action the US intends to take, with Mr Obama leaving office on 20 January.

The disclosure of emails was embarrassing to the Democratic Party at a crucial point in the election campaign.

The CIA has concluded that Russia’s motivation was to sway the election in favor of Donald Trump, but no evidence has been made public. Trump has accused the Democrats of fabricating Russian involvement to hide their embarrassment at the election defeat.

He has also long expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin, and his pick for secretary of state – oil tycoon Rex Tillerson, who has worked closely with the Russian leader – has raised concerns.

President-elect Trump tweeted on Thursday: “If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?”

However, the Obama administration in October directly accused Russia of hacking US political sites and email accounts with the aim of interfering with the upcoming election.

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