President-Elect Trump released a statement stating that he did, in fact, believe that Russia meddled in the American election process. Reince Priebus, one of Trump’s closest aides and nominee for White House Chief of Staff, told Fox News that ” [Trump] accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia, so that’s not the issue.”
In December of 2016, the CIA released a report confirming suspicions that Russia was actively trying to support Trump in the election by hacking organizations connected to the Clinton campaign. In response, some electors called for a briefing on Russian interference in the election before the electoral college voted.
The alleged involvement of Russia in the US election involves hacking Democratic party data and releasing degrading information about Hillary Clinton through wiki-leaks. Russia also allegedly planted fake news which hurt Clinton’s public image. There are also reports of Russia planting trolls on the internet to attempt to influence people to vote for Trump.
Until recently, President-elect Trump denied any involvement from Russia in the election. He dismissed these charges as an attempt to de-legitimize his election victory. Trump has been criticized for his praising of Russia and Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, intelligence officials repeatedly stated that the allegations of Russian involvement were backed by sufficient evidence. President Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia and stated that counter cyber attacks were possible. Several senators from both parties have come out in support of tougher action against Russian cyber-attacks.
During the confirmation hearings of Gen. John Kelly for Homeland Security, Mike Pompeo for CIA director, Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State and James Mattis for Defense secretary, the issue of cyber security and Russian cyber attacks were discussed in great detail. All the cabinet appointees have pledged to step up efforts to defend the US against future cyber warfare.