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Obama points finger at Putin for hacks during U.S. election

Publish Time 2016-12-17 16:31:00 Update Time 2016-12-17 20:35:00


President Barack Obama on Friday strongly suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally authorized the computer hacks of Democratic Party emails that American intelligence officials say were aimed at helping Republican Donald Trump win the Nov. 8 election.

But with only a month left in office, during a somber press conference before leaving for a family holiday in Hawaii, Obama spoke despairingly about the "nasty" state of U.S. politics, saying the chasm between Democrats and Republicans has made it possible for Russia to cause mischief.

Obama said he has "great confidence" in intelligence reports he has seen showing that Russians hacked into emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and to John Podesta, who was campaign chairman for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The leaked emails revealed details of paid speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street, party infighting and comments from top aides to Clinton who were shocked about the extent of her use of a private server to send emails while secretary of state.

The leaks led to embarrassing media coverage and prompted some party officials to resign. Obama, who campaigned vigorously for Clinton, said she was treated unfairly and found the media coverage of her troubling, Reuters reports.


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