President Barack Obama said on Friday that he had told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “cut it out” following allegations that his country conducted cyber attacks against the United States.
He also said that his conversation prevented any further hacking against his country’s election infrastructure.
“So in early September when I saw president Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn’t happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out and there were going to be serious consequences if he didn’t.
“And in fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process—but the leaks through Wikileaks had already occurred.”
president also said the accompanying news coverage that negatively affected Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was troubling – with the media carrying what he called an “obsession” with the flood of Democratic emails that were made public during the campaign -and that she was treated unfairly.
He then addressed reports that there was “squabbling” between the White House
What we have simply said are the facts,” he told reporters. “Based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC, and as a consequence, it is important for us to review all elements of that and make sure we are preventing that kind of interference through cyber attacks in the future.”
“That shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” he continued.
“My hope is the president-elect is similarly going to be concerned that we don’t have foreign influence in our election process.”
The president rejected any notion that the dispute over the origin of the hacking was disrupting efforts to smoothly transfer power to Mr Trump.
Despite fiercely criticizing each other during the election, Mr Obama and Mr Trump have spoken multiple times since the campaign ended.
“He has listened,” Mr Obama said of Mr Trump. “I can’t say he will end up implementing. But the conversations themselves have been cordial.”