President-elect Trump on Friday downplayed the idea that alleged Russian hacking had any effect on the November election, following his briefing with leaders in the U.S. intelligence community.

While the Obama administration, most Democrats and many Republicans have accepted the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia made an effort to swing the election to Trump, the incoming president stopped short of that in his three-paragraph statement after his meeting.

“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democratic National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” Trump said in a statement.

“There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful,” he added. Trump’s statement sidestepped the issue of whether Russia successfully hacked into Democratic emails, as most Democrats allege.

Trump called his meeting “constructive,” and said he has “tremendous respect” for the work being done by the intelligence community. He also pledged to work to stop cyberattacks once he’s sworn into office on Jan. 20.

“I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office,” he said. “The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”

Intel community: Russia sought to 'denigrate' Hillary Clinton

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The report is the clearest public statement of the intelligence agencies views.

01/06/17 4:03 PM

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