US & Canada

Donald Trump dismisses US sanctions threat to Russia

Graffiti in Lithuania Image copyright AP
Image caption Trump and Putin's warm words have been mocked by graffiti artists in Lithuania

President-elect Donald Trump has dismissed the US threat to increase sanctions against Russia, saying "we ought to get on with our lives".

The White House said it will retaliate for the alleged hacking by Russia of the Democratic Party during the recent presidential election campaign.

A raft of new sanctions and other measures will be revealed on Thursday, US media reports.

Russia has denied any involvement in the hacking.

On Wednesday, senior US senators called for increased sanctions.

But Mr Trump, who has been criticised for being too cosy with Russia, told reporters outside his Florida resort the issue of retaliation was a distraction and there was no conclusive evidence who was behind the hacks.

"I think we ought to get on with our lives," he said.

"I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of the computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what's going on.

"We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I'm not sure we have the kind of security we need."

The US intelligence agencies are in agreement that hackers linked to the Kremlin accessed emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee and the emails of a top Hillary Clinton aide.

Contents from the emails were made public, in an embarrassing series of stories for Mrs Clinton throughout the final stages of her campaign.

US President Barack Obama has vowed to hit back at Russia before he leaves office in three weeks.

There is speculation this could mean sanctions and covert action in the form of cyber warfare. Sanctions against Russia are already in place over its annexation of Crimea.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has called for new measures aimed at Russian leader Vladimir Putin "as an individual".

Asked about that, Mr Trump referred to Mr Graham's failed presidential bid.

"I don't know what he's doing," said the president-elect. "I haven't spoken to him. As you know, he ran against me."

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