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Trump Downplays Russia In First Comments On Hacking Campaign

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Surrounded by Army cadets, President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-Navy Football Game in Michie Stadium at the United States Military Academy, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, in West Point, N.Y. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP) — President Donald Trump is contradicting top administration officials who say Russia is behind the cyber espionage operation that targeted U.S. government agencies. In a tweet about the massive breech, Trump not only downplayed the intrusions, he pointed toward China rather than Russia as a likely perpetrator. The president offered no evidence implicating China. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has said that Russia is “pretty clearly” behind the operation. A U.S. official tells The Associated Press that the White House was preparing to accuse Russia in the hacking but then stood down at the last minute. Throughout his presidency, Trump has refused to blame Russia for well-documented hostilities.

 

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