AP FACT CHECK: Trump gets timing wrong on Russia hacking

AP News
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Posted: Dec 15, 2016 12:06 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that the Obama administration didn't bring up Russian hacking of U.S. political sites until after Hillary Clinton lost the election. That is wrong. The administration brought it up a month before Election Day.

Trump's tweet said, "If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?"

But on Oct. 7, the Obama administration bluntly accused Russia of hacking American political sites and email accounts in an effort to interfere with the upcoming presidential election.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a statement accusing Russia of hacking the sites and accounts, including those of the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Democratic Party officials learned in late April that their systems were attacked after discovering malicious software on their computers.

"These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow," the two agencies said. "The Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."

Thursday wasn't the first time Trump got it wrong on the timing: On Dec. 12, he tweeted, "Unless you catch 'hackers' in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?"