Kremlin: U.S. report on Russian hacking 'unfounded,' 'amateurishly emotional'

By Andrew V. Pestano  |  Jan. 9, 2017 at 1:11 PM
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MOSCOW, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, has dismissed U.S. intelligence reports alleging the Kremlin interfered with the U.S. election as "absolutely unfounded" and "amateurishly emotional."

Peskov said the conclusion by the CIA, which was endorsed by the FBI and 15 other intelligence agencies, was "already reminiscent of a witch-hunt." The CIA also said it's very likely that high-level Russian government officials, including Putin, authorized the hacking.

"The absolutely unfounded accusations sound at a rather amateurishly emotional level that can be hardly applied to a highly professional work of high-class special services," Peskov said on Monday. "We still don't know what is in fact and what data those who make such unfounded accusations have."

Last week, three of the top U.S. intelligence officials -- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, U.S. Cyber Command Commander and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre II -- told the Senate Armed Services Committee their agencies' investigations found that Moscow was responsible for carrying out a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee, as well as a smaller attack on its Republican counterpart, Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and manager John Podesta, and other political organizations.

Peskov said that Moscow was "observing a serious fatigue with these accusations," adding that the part of the report that was published "did not add any substance" to the allegations.

"We understand that our U.S. colleagues underwent such stages of a witch-hunt in different stages of their history," Peskov said. "We know that they are later replaced by more sober specialists with more sober approaches but still oriented at a dialogue rather than emotional convulsions."

President-elect Donald Trump has taken a position of skepticism regarding the intelligence community's report and President Barack Obama's sanctions in response, calling them "ridiculous" -- despite his own statement in September that Russia could be involved. Thursday, he tweeted that he is a "big fan" of the U.S. intelligence community.

The U.S. intelligence agencies said the hacks were authorized to help Trump defeat Clinton.

Peskov said the published report "arouses nothing but disappointment," criticizing the "amount of emotions on this scarce material."

Peskov said Trump "has not made any unambiguous statement on this matter" so the Kremlin "can't draw any conclusions" about his position on the U.S. intelligence report.

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