2 Jan 2017

Trump promises revelations on Russian hacking

From Summer Report, 8:26 am on 2 January 2017

US President-elect Donald Trump is promising to reveal more information about Russia's hacking of the Democratic Party during last year's election.

United States President-elect Donald Trump

United States President-elect Donald Trump Photo: AFP

Mr Trump, who takes office as US President on 20 January, is to have briefings with intelligence agencies this week after he returns to New York on Sunday.

On Saturday, he expressed continued skepticism over whether Russia was responsible for computer hacks of Democratic Party officials.

"I think it's unfair if we don't know. It could be somebody else. I also know things that other people don't know so we cannot be sure," Mr Trump said.

Washington correspondent Simon Marks told Summer Report it was difficult to know what was behind Mr Trump's skepticism, other than his continued public support of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"Whether we ever get to hear this so-called revelation that Donald Trump is promising, I think is also very open to question," Marks said.

Mr Trump said he would publicly release his information on the hacking on Tuesday or Wednesday this week but did not elaborate on what that information might be.

"What Donald Trump may know about the hacking of the Democratic Party's computer servers is open to speculation," Marks said. 

"And how he may have any information is also open to speculation given that he has consistently raised questions about whether Russia was behind the hacking attacks.

"He has argued that it could have been another foreign government. He also likes to say that it could be someone weighing 400 pounds sitting in a New Jersey bedroom."

Mr Trump's information would have to be fairly definitive, given that seventeen branches of the government involved in intelligence gathering had told President Obama that they believed Russia was behind it, Mr Marks said. 

"Donald Trump's response to that is, 'Well, these are the same intelligence organisations that claimed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They were wrong about that, how do they know that they're right about this?'"