President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday morning appeared to agree with the assessment of the U.S. intelligence community that the Russian government was behind hacks during the 2016 election.
“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” he said in a press conference.
“But we also get hacked by other countries and other people and I can say that, you know, when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn’t make a big deal out of that,” Trump added, referring to a hack by the Chinese government of millions of files in the Office of Personnel Management.
He said it would be “very important” to develop a “hacking defense.”
Asked about taking punitive actions against Russia for interfering in the U.S. election, Trump said “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia.”
In response to another question, however, Trump seemed to hedge his answer:
“You said just now that you believe that Russia indeed was responsible for the hacking of the DNC and Podesta emails, et cetera,” a reporter began, before asking about Trump’s faith in the intelligence community.
“Well you know what? It could have been others also,” he said.
Watch Donald Trump discussing Russia, via MSNBC:
This post has been updated.