Report Says Putin Was Directly Involved With Russian Interference In U.S. Election – Huffington Post

Neither the CIA’s public information office nor Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks immediately responded to requests for comment.

Putin has long considered Clinton a foe, and claimed the former secretary of state incited protests in Russia following the country’s 2011 elections. (Clinton had sided with protesters and called for “free, fair, transparent elections” in the country.) 

In contrast, Putin has praised Trump as “bright and talented,” and the U.S. president-elect has complimented the Russian president’s leadership.

Trump dismissed the earlier report on Russia’s alleged involvement in the election, telling Fox News on Sunday he thinks it’s “ridiculous” to believe the Russian government wanted to steal the election for him.

“I think it’s just another excuse,” Trump said. “I don’t believe it.”

Other Republicans have taken the report much more seriously. A bipartisan group of senators, including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), this week called for further investigation into possible election meddling, and discouraged fellow senators from treating the revelations as a partisan issue.

“The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security,” the senators wrote in a statement.

Many top Republicans, however, declined Democratic requests to publicly condemn the hacks as they were taking place. 

Meanwhile, Putin’s popularity is skyrocketing among Republicans. According to a YouGov/Economist poll released this week, favorability of the Russian president has climbed 56 points since July 2014. 

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