Trump dismisses as ‘ridiculous’ reports of Russian election help

Mr Trump also questions US commitment to the “one China policy” without concessions from Beijing and hails Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who is under consideration for secretary of state, as “a world class player.”

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Washington // President-elect Donald Trump dismissed a brewing storm over Russian cyber meddling in the US election, rejecting as “ridiculous” reports that the CIA has concluded that Moscow was trying to help him win the White House.

“I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,” Mr Trump said in a Fox News interview broadcast on Sunday.

Mr Trump also questioned US commitment to the “one China policy” without concessions from Beijing, criticising “out of control” Pentagon arms contracts, and hailing Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who is under consideration for secretary of state, as “a world class player.”

But the controversy over the latest US intelligence consensus on Russia and Mr Trump’s skepticism of the findings dominated the conversation at a time of deepening political divisions over how to respond to the hacking attacks.

Two top Republican senators – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – joined leading Democrats Sunday in calling for greater public disclosure about “recent cyber attacks that have cut to the heart of our free society.”

They pledged to work across party lines to have the incidents investigated,.

US intelligence has previously linked Russia to leaks of damaging email from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign but saw it as a broad bid to undermine confidence in the US political process.

On Friday, however, US newspapers reported that the CIA had concluded that the aim of the cyber intrusions was to help Mr Trump win the election.

Mr Trump has kept the US intelligence community at arms length since his election, turning down their daily briefing on world threats.

“I get it when I need it,” he said. “You know, I’m a smart person. I don’t have to be told the same thing and the same words every single day for the next eight years.”

Rex Tillerson, said to be Trump’s top choice for secretary of state, would bring to his cabinet a man with extensive business dealings with Russia as well as other problematic countries.

“In his case, he’s much more than a business executive. He’s a world class player,” Mr Trump said of Mr Tillerson, a 64-year-old Texan who has run Exxon since 2006, making oil and gas deals worldwide.

*Agence France-Presse