Kremlin says Washington must prove hacking accusations or shut up

Russia must be dealt with over election hacking: Official
Russia must be dealt with over election hacking: Official

The Kremlin said on Friday that the United States should either prove accusations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election by hacking Democratic Party organizations or drop the issue.

"Either stop talking about it or finally provide some evidence. Otherwise it looks indecent," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Tokyo.

Russia has repeatedly denied the hacking allegations.

Futile and silly

Russia hacking: What could the U.S. do?
Russia hacking: What could the U.S. do?

Meanwhile, Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister told state television network, Russia 24, he was "dumbstruck" by the NBC report which alleges that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally involved in an election hack.

The report cited U.S. intelligence officials that now believe with a "high level of confidence" that Putin became personally involved in a secret campaign to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

"I think this is just silly, and the futility of the attempt to convince somebody of this is absolutely obvious," Lavrov added, according to the news outlet.

The polarized reactions from current U.S. President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump to date have been stark.

Obama vowed to take action on Friday against Putin and Russia after intelligence agencies claimed to be in possession of overwhelming evidence that hackers with ties to the Kremlin were indeed behind the hacks.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that Russia were behind the hacking of the U.S. election and did so in an attempt to boost the chances of a Trump administration, though the CIA has not yet made its evidence accessible to the public.

Trump has repeatedly dismissed the notion Russia had any part to play in his election victory and accused Democrats of manipulating the allegations in order to cover embarrassment from their defeat.

"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?" Trump tweeted on Thursday.


Barrier to the new administration

Given mounting attention to the matter, a team of analysts at Eurasia Group said in a note on Friday that they believe the outgoing administration is likely to take action which could result in a significant barrier for Trump's team once he takes office in January.

"It is unlikely that U.S. intelligence reports will change Trump's intention to initiate a rapprochement with Moscow, but the congressional response following its own investigations could obstruct the new administration's effort," Eurasia Group analysts added.

— Reuters contributed to this report

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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