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Russia hacking claims designed to 'discredit Trump presidency'

The Obama administration

The outgoing US administration, mainstream media and intelligence community are spreading the Russian hacking fiction in order to discredit Donald Trump’s presidency and undermine potential efforts to mend ties with Moscow, according to a former US Senate policy adviser and diplomat.

James Jatras, who is also a specialist in international relations and legislative politics in Washington, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting on the media frenzy in the US about Russia’s alleged campaign to influence the 2016 presidential election. 

US officials, including President Barack Obama, have accused the Kremlin of carrying out cyberattacks against US political organizations to help the Republican candidate win the White House.

On Friday, the US intelligence community released an unclassified report claiming that the Russian government directed hackers to target various Democratic Party organizations and operatives to influence the outcome of the election.

On Monday, Russia said it was “tired" of “baseless allegations” by Washington that Moscow meddled in the election. "We are growing rather tired of these accusations. It is becoming a full-on witch hunt," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Jatras said that one can “certainly understand why the Russians would be sick and tired of” these accusations. “Frankly, I think there are a lot of Americans who are sick and tired of this too.”

“Let’s be very clear. This is all a political campaign, which includes the Democratic Party, the outgoing Obama administration, the mainstream media, elements of the intelligence community, in order to undermine Trump’s presidency and throw a roadblock in the way of warming any relations with Moscow. That’s what this is really all about,” he explained.

“If you look at that report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, it really doesn’t pass the laugh test.  There is no proof in it. It’s a bunch of allegations on a 'just trust us’ basis, that we have seen abused so many times in the past whether it was in Benghazi or WMDs in Iraq,” the analyst stated.

“This is a campaign that has only political goals. It’s really a life and death thing for the Trump administration which is moving forth now. We'll see who wins,” he concluded.

The US intelligence community’s report accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering his government to help Trump win the November election.

The report claims that Russia "sought to help" Trump by running a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, but the report has not concluded that the Russian interference tipped the scales in favor of the Republican candidate.

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