President Barack Obama said evidence of political hacking stopped after he told Russian President Vladimir Putin that “there were going to be serious consequences if he didn’t” end the cyberintrusions in the United States. Obama said he met with Putin in September on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in China. Obama said he insisted Putin “cut it out.”
The comments came Friday in a wide-ranging year-end news conference.
Obama also said that:
- Naming Russia as the culprit behind the hacking of Democratic emails “requires us not to re-litigate the election, it requires us not to point fingers, it requires us to just say, here’s what happened, let’s be honest about it, and let’s not use it as a political football but let’s figure out how to prevent it from happening in the future.”
- “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave” over the recent GOP praise of Russia. The President attacked Republicans for siding with an arch-enemy of the United States because of their dislike of Democrats.
- His transitional conversations with President-elect Donald Trump “have been cordial as opposed to defensive in any way.” There is no “squabbling” between the incoming and outgoing administrations.
- The Syrian regime, along with Moscow and Tehran, are responsible for the slaughter of civilians in Aleppo. “We have seen a deliberate strategy of surrounding, besieging and starving innocent civilians,” Obama said. “The blood for these atrocities is on their hands.”
- Hillary Clinton was “treated unfairly” in the presidential contest. “I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling.”
A CNN/ORC instant poll found that 52% of debate watchers viewed Hillary Clinton as the winner of the final presidential debate, compared to 39% who felt the same about Donald Trump.
Some Republicans were quick to condemn Trump’s refusal to say he would accept the outcome of the presidential election.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, who has been a strong critic of his party’s nominee, tweeted, “.@realDonaldTrump saying that he might not accept election results is beyond the pale.”
Bernie Sanders empathized with his disappointed supporters but told them firmly that Hillary Clinton must win in November.
“Any objective observer will conclude that — based on her ideas and her leadership — Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States,” Sanders told Democratic National Convention delegates, some of them in tears during his speech.
The senator from Vermont sought to unite Democrats on the opening night of their convention, even as primary season divides were exacerbated by a leak of emails showing party leaders sided against his campaign. At various moments, shouts of “Bernie! Bernie!” rang out during speeches.
There was an orchestrated effort by some of the party’s most popular figures to heal the divides and bring Sanders supporters to Clinton’s side.
First lady Michelle Obama delivered an emphatic endorsement of Clinton, declaring “I’m with her” and taking a sharp swipe at Republican nominee Donald Trump, sparking a euphoric reception.
Liberal heroine Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Trump as a man who skipped on his debts and cheated other people, while saying Clinton was one of the “smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on this planet.”