President-elect Donald Trump met with leaders of the intelligence community on Jan. 6 and disagreed with their official conclusion that Russia played a role in the 2016 presidential election.
"I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation," the president-elect said in a statement published on Great Again, his official transition website. "While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful."
Trump said that the meeting was "constructive" and vowed to put together a team that will construct a plan within 90 days to protect the U.S. from foreign governments trying to hack into U.S. secrets.
"Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks," Trump added. "The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America's safety and security will be my number one priority."
The president-elect's statement is at odds with that of the official intelligence report, released on the same day, on Russia's alleged involvement in the election. The report concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign," though it does not say whether or not the foreign government had a concrete impact on the outcome, notes NPR.
"Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency," the report states, according to NPR. "We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."