Russian official: 'Republicans trust Putin more than the Democrats'

Story highlights

  • Alexey Pushkov: US democracy undermined not by Russia but by Obama administration
  • Pushkov's tweets follow a US intelligence report blaming Russia for hacking in election

Moscow (CNN)A top Russian lawmaker accused the Obama administration Saturday of undermining US democracy, saying Republicans had more trust in Russian President Vladimir Putin than in the Democrats.

Alexey Pushkov's assertions in a series of tweets come in the wake of a US intelligence report pinpointing Russia and its leader as the culprit behind the hacking in the US presidential election.
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Russia has consistently denied any interference in the election.
Pushkov, a Russian senator and former chairman of the parliamentary foreign relations committee, first tweeted early Saturday, "The Democratic process in the United States is undermined not by Russia, but by the Obama administration and the media which supported (Hillary) Clinton against (Donald) Trump. The threat to democracy is the United States."
He then tweeted, "The head of the US Ministry of Defense accused Putin of bad relations between USA and Russia. Obama undertook a course to isolate and to undermine the positions of Russia and blame Putin. Complete nonsense."
As he had done earlier in the week, Pushkov also compared US hacking allegations against Russia to claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction in 2003, later blamed on faulty intelligence, posting that "all accusations against Russia are based on 'confidence' and assumptions. The US (was) just as confident of the WMDs (then-Iraqi President Saddam) Hussein had."
In his latest tweet, issued Saturday afternoon, Pushkov said that Republicans trusted Putin more than they did the Democratic Party.
Translated, like the others, from Russian, it read: "Obama dismayed: Republicans trust Putin more than the Democrats. This is the 'merit' of the Democrats and one of the results of Obama's presidency."

Report: Putin ordered 'influence campaign'

The US intelligence report, which was commissioned by President Barack Obama, was the first official, full and public accounting by the US intelligence community of its assessment of Russian cyberhacking activities during the 2016 campaign and the motivations behind that hacking.
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It found that Putin "ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election" and that the Russian President and his government "developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."
Trump has resisted the US intelligence community's conclusions that Russia was responsible for the hacking and that it aimed to help his campaign.
The President-elect, who was briefed on the report Friday by top US intelligence and law enforcement officials, said he had "a constructive meeting" but declined to agree publicly with their conclusions.
Instead, Trump stressed that "there was absolutely no effect on the (election) outcome whatsoever," which the US intelligence community asserted in its report it was not in a position to assess.
Trump did acknowledge in his statement the possibility that Russia could have been behind the hack, though he named China as well as a persistent cyberhacker.

Report: Cyberhacking likely to continue

The US intelligence community also warned in its report Friday that Moscow would likely continue to pursue cyberhacking campaigns to influence future elections.
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"Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes," it assessed.
The 17 US intelligence agencies first concluded in October that Russian intelligence, directed by the most senior Russian officials, orchestrated the hacking of Democratic Party organizations.
But since then, the US intelligence community said it had gathered additional information to make assessments of the motivations behind the cyberhacking operations: that the effort was aimed at undermining the US democratic process, hurting Clinton and helping Trump in the election.