‘I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,’ he said during an interview with Fox News Sunday that was taped on Saturday.
‘I don’t know why and I think it’s just - you know, they talked about all sorts of things. Every week it’s another excuse.'
He went on to blame Democrats for putting out reports about the CIA’s remarks, made after a secret assessment of Russia’s role in the mid-election cyber attacks on the DNC and Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
Donald Trump dismissed CIA claims that Russian hacks were intended to help him win the election as 'ridiculous', also claiming that Democrats were pushing the reports in the media
The CIA told senators in a secret meeting that they believed hacks on Democratic emails in the election were intended to aid Trump’s victory. That meeting was revealed by press on Friday
In a secret meeting that emerged Friday through The Washington Post, the CIA told a group of senators that Russian hacks had the specific goal of getting Trump elected.
Previously, the Agency had suggested that the hacks might have been intended to more generally undermine the public's faith in the electoral system, without favoring a particular candidate.
When asked whether he thought that the CIA was trying to overturn the election results, Trump said he didn't think ‘they’re saying anything’.
‘If you look at the story and you take a look at what they said, there’s great confusion. Nobody really knows, and hacking is very interesting,’ he said.
‘Once they hack if you don’t catch them in the act you’re not going to catch them.
‘They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.'
And in a Capitol meeting, a senior FBI official also doubted the claim, saying there wasn’t enough proof that Russia had a specific aim or favorite in the presidential race
He also said that he believed Democrats were behind the reveal of the CIA’s assessment of the hacks.
‘I’m not sure [the CIA] put it out,’ he said. ‘I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics, and frankly I think it’s ridiculous.'
He also said he would be making 'changes at the top’ in the intelligence community, 'because we have our people and they have their people,’ adding that ‘I have great respect for them’.
Trump isn’t the only one who is unsure about the startling claim of Russian collusion.
In a secret House Intelligence Committee meeting, a senior FBI official refused to conclusively say that the Russian hacks into Democratic emails were intended to help Trump, an official from the briefing told The Washington Post.
‘It was shocking to hold these [CIA] statements made about Russian intentions and activities, and to hear this guy basically saying nothing with certainty and allowing that all was possible,’ the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
CIA director John Brennan (pictured in 2014) may be looking for a new job when Trump takes over, as the President-elect has promised ‘changes at the top’
But despite repeated prodding for two hours by Republicans and Democrats in the committee, the FBI counterintelligence official would not back the CIA’s new direction.
While his CIA equivalent had been 'direct and bald and unqualified' about Russia’s scheme to aid the new president-elect, the FBI agent’s statements wee 'fuzzy' and 'ambiguous'.
There just wasn’t enough evidence of intention, the FBI said.
‘There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals,’ a US official who was at the meeting said.
Part of the problem is the way that two two organizations view the disparate and incomplete evidence available to law enforcement and intelligence operatives.
‘The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards - "Can we prove this in court?"' one official said.
'The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions.
‘High confidence for them means "We’re pretty damn sure." It doesn't mean they can prove it in court.’
The hacks, including one on the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta (pictured) and another on DNC staff, led to much bad publicity for the Democrats during the election
The division between the FBI and CIA’s opinions of the case was mirrored in the Republicans and Democrats at the hearing.
Many Republicans agreed with the FBI’s caution, saying that the CIA's analysis lacked concrete evidence.
Some also suggested that Russia would have preferred Clinton - a politician with whom the country is familiar - over a firebrand who has talked about expanding the US military.
One even joked that ‘Republicans are from Mars, Democrats are from Venus,’ a source said.
President Obama has ordered an investigation into the Russian hacks, to be completed before he leaves office next month.
And a bipartisan group of lawmakers have demanded that it be accompanied by a joint congressional investigation into the cyber-attacks.
In a statement released Saturday morning, Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) and Chuck Schumer (D-New York) asked Congress ‘to examine these recent incidents thoroughly’.
‘This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country. We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner,’ they added.
The group also called for solutions to be devised to defend against future cyber-attacks.
One observer said it was due to a difference in philosophies: The FBI wants a case that could stand up in court; the CIA is more comfortable backing less concrete theories
In his extensive Fox News Sunday interview, Trump also explained his positions on a series of issues, and revealed some of his plans for the presidency.
Controversially, he said that he doesn’t see why the US should be bound to the 37-year-old ‘one China’ policy that recognizes China as the true owner of Taiwanese territory.
That policy was introduced by Jimmy Carter in 1979, in line with an identical UN motion passed that year, but Trump impinged on it last week when he received a phone call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.
Beijing complained, but Trump told the channel that he didn't think a foreign country should dictate who he spoke to, and suggested that the one-China policy might be changed if China doesn't offer a better ‘deal’.
Trump also said that despite claims that his business created a conflict of interest with his presidential plans, he has turned down ‘billions’ of dollars in offers in just one week.
He said he turned the deals down last week because they might be ‘perceived as a conflict’. He will reveal his plans for his business interests on Thursday.
Trump also said in the Fox News interview Sunday that he might end the ‘one China’ policy, and that he and Melania would indeed move into the White House
The President-elect also said that despite rumors he would indeed be moving out of New York’s Trump Tower and into the White House once he takes over.
He said Melania would stay in New York for a little longer while son Barron finishes school, but they would then relocate to Washington.
Until then, he said, he wouldn't be lonely: ‘No, I’ll be working. I’ll be working. It’s a very special place and it represents so much and there’s a lot to do, there’s a lot to do, more than I ever thought.
He also said that he would look at how daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner could be involved in his administration - depending on ‘how the laws read’.
The mid-election hacks resulted in leaks of 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the DNC that showed staffers mocking and apparently undermining Bernie Sanders' campaign to be the Democratic candidate.
A second hack saw emails being leaked from the account of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, including some that apparently discussed payments to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for meetings with Bill Clinton.
The FBI has also been under fire of late because of Director James Comey’s decision to publicize the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails - going against FBI policy, which prohibits influencing an election.
THE FULL STATEMENT BY SENATORS MCCAIN, GRAHAM, REED AND SCHUMER ON THE NEED FOR AN INVESTIGATION
Washington, DC - US Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Leader-elect, and Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services released the following joint statement today in response to news reports on the CIA’s analysis of Russian interference with the 2016 election:
‘For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property.
‘Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.
‘Congress’s national security committees have worked diligently to address the complex challenge of cybersecurity, but recent events show that more must be done.
‘While protecting classified material, we have an obligation to inform the public about recent cyberattacks that have cut to the heart of our free society.
‘Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks.
‘This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country.’
‘We are committed to working in this bipartisan manner, and we will seek to unify our colleagues around the goal of investigating and stopping the grave threats that cyberattacks conducted by foreign governments pose to our national security.’