President Donald Trump said it "could've been China" that was responsible for 2016 presidential election hacking. "Could've been China, could've been a lot of different groups".
The hackers roiled the presidential campaign by making public embarrassing emails sent by Democratic operatives and aides to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump has steadfastly denied any ties between his campaign and the hack, even though the leaks came soon after he directly called upon Russian Federation sleuths to target Clinton's emails.
Trump has been dismissive of the statements by intelligence officials that Moscow hacked the emails to help Trump win the election.
One Beijing-based Western diplomat told Reuters that, while China might be pleased to see Mr. Trump hang ally South Korea out to dry with his criticism of their free trade deal and demand Seoul pay $1 billion to host a United States anti-missile system China has strongly opposed, China should not have any illusions.
In Japan, often at odds with China over what Beijing views as Tokyo´s failure to properly atone for World War Two, a Japanese government source sought to downplay any impact on the burgeoning Trump-Xi friendship on Japan-U.S. ties. Russian Federation has denied any involvement in the hacks.
He's argued that the hacking did not affect the outcome of the election, even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced it was investigating ties between Russian hackers and Trump's election team.
In the taped interview broadcast Sunday, the president would not discuss the possibility of military action, saying: "It is a chess game. Because there's a certain respect because he knew I would do something or whatever".
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Trump's comments come at a sensitive time for U.S. security; the day before North Korea launched a failed missile test. He then pointed out that Beijing is working with the U.S.to address the crisis in Korea, adding that it would be counterproductive to call China out on trade. "Also, we're going to announce that you're a currency manipulator tomorrow, '" Trump said.
Admiral Harry Harris, the chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, told the U.S. Congress this week that he expected to be carrying out such patrols soon, and repeated earlier concerns at China´s continued militarisation of the area.
In the CBS interview, the president was asked why the North's rockets keep blowing up.
I don't know which of these explanations is true, but they both seem pretty bad. "What they have done to us by playing currency is very sad". "But eventually, he'll have good missiles".
"We have to find out what happened".
Trump also called North Korea's leader "a pretty smart cookie" for being able to hold onto power after taking over at a young age. And I would say that I was the one that got them to stop. China, who is bankrolling North Korean survival, is a key USA partner for preventing a nuclear attack. In an interview on CBS News' Face the Nation, the commander-in-chief commented on email leaks that rocked the Democratic National Committee during the heat of the presidential race between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Trump.
Trump and McMaster both said the USA hasn't ruled out military action against Kim Jong-un's regime.