NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump acknowledged for the first time here Wednesday that Russia was responsible for hacking the Democratic Party during last year’s election, but he denied that the leaks were intended to boost him and argued that Moscow would cease cyberattacks on the United States once he is sworn in.
In a rollicking hour-long news conference, Trump furiously denounced as “fake news” the reports that Russia had obtained salacious intelligence that could compromise him. He suggested that any damaging information collected by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration would already have been released — and he celebrated what had leaked out about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” Mr. Trump said. “Hacking’s bad, and it shouldn’t be done. But look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned from that hacking.”
Allowing his hostility and contempt toward the U.S. intelligence community to again burst into public view, Trump also reaffirmed his belief — first expressed in a tweet earlier Wednesday morning — that intelligence officials were behaving as though they were in “Nazi Germany” with what he termed “disgraceful” leaks to the media. The Anti-Defamation League asked Trump to apologize for trivializing the Holocaust.
Trump made a series of promises but provided little specific evidence on how he would deliver them. He vowed to repeal and replace President Obama’s Affordable Care Act quickly and nearly simultaneously (“could be the same hour”); to start building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico before persuading the Mexican government to pay for it (“that will happen, whether…