Russian hacking a threat to US democracy

At the White House, Biden praised the quality of US intelligence and said it was not surprising that someone who had never worked in government would not understand how consequential intelligence reports are.

President-elect Donald Trump conceded for the first time on Wednesday that Russian Federation was behind the hacking of Democratic institutions during the presidential election, saying, "I think it was Russia" - though a few minutes later he said perhaps it was another country.

Trump "is not denying that entities in Russian Federation were behind this particular hacking campaign", Priebus said on "Fox News Sunday".

The documents were also said to have included allegations of close contact between associates of Mr Trump and Russians about hacking into Democratic party emails and colluding to win the presidential election. Trump spent weeks questioning the publicly disclosed findings of the intelligence service before a briefing on Friday.

Donald Trump is maintaining his position that only "fools" see good ties with Russian Federation as bad - a view that makes him appear increasingly isolated.

Peskov, according to the Russian news agency agency TASS, said: "The Kremlin has no compromising dossier on Trump, these allegations are untrue and are totally made up".

Referencing Trump's hour-long press conference on Wednesday - the first in almost six months - Steinmeier said Trump's foreign policy stances continue to remain unclear.

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Trump dismissed the report late Tuesday as "fake news" and called it "a total political witch hunt". "Are we living in Nazi Germany?". The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Putin ordered the hacking as part of a scheme to tilt the election toward Trump. Once he became the nominee, more research was funded by "groups and donors supporting Hillary Clinton", CNN reports.

On Friday a week ago USA intelligence chiefs, briefing Trump on allegations of Russian interference in the United States election, also reportedly included a two-page summary of the most credible claims from the political research report.

"It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen", Trump said, referencing recent reports from CNN and BuzzFeed about the allegations in the Russian dossier. "Who knows? But maybe the intelligence agencies which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that".

"As President Reagan said, we need to trust, but verify".

Paul Manafort, his first campaign manager, was previously a consultant to the Moscow-backed former Ukraine prime minister, Viktor Yanukovych, and also worked with Russian oligarchs with ties to President Vladimir Putin.

Outside, about a dozen protesters gathered behind a police barricade across the street from Trump Tower, holding signs with the slogans "Dump Trump" and "Allegiance To America Not Russia" as Fifth Avenue traffic streamed by. The agency has not confirmed essential details about Trump in the memos.

Trump has sporadically taken questions during the transition, popping out of the gold-plated elevators at his eponymous Manhattan skyscraper to address reporters for a few minutes or greeting the media on the driveway of his South Florida club.

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