White House criticises Donald Trump over reaction to Russia hacking claims

The White House has sharply criticised President-elect Donald Trump for his response to allegations of Russian interference in the US election.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Mr Trump should stop attacking the US intelligence community, and instead support the investigation ordered by President Barack Obama into what occurred.

Mr Trump's transition team has complained that the White House suggested the president-elect knew during the campaign that Russia was trying to interfere.

However, Mr Earnest said it is "obvious" Mr Trump knew and that it is a fact.

He also disputed Mr Trump's claim that he was joking when he encouraged Russia to find Hillary Clinton's emails.

Mr Earnest says nobody in the White House, Congress or the intelligence community found it "funny" that a US adversary was trying to "destabilise our democracy".

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he believes Vladimir Putin was personally involved in efforts to intrude into the presidential election.

The Nevada Democrat said "the answer clearly is yes" when asked about the Russian president's involvement.

He added that, because Mr Putin is a former KGB chief, his alleged actions should surprise no one.

Mr Reid also criticised FBI director James Comey for doing "nothing" to prevent Russia from hacking Democratic campaign documents while focusing on Mrs Clinton's private email server.

He said Mr Comey, who used to be a registered Republican, "became so partisan" that he should head the Republican National Committee.

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