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President-elect Trump feuds over Russia reports, attacks magazine that wrote negative article

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Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-15 15:43:20-05

DENVER – President-elect Donald Trump again took to Twitter Thursday morning to feud with U.S. intelligence agencies over allegations that Russia interfered with the General Election, and to again denigrate a magazine that wrote an unfavorable story about one of his properties.

As national news outlets continue to publish stories citing unnamed government sources who point to Russian interference in the election and possible hacks by agents with Russian ties, Trump continued – as he has in recent weeks – to question their findings.

“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Trump tweeted.

His tweet, however, is mostly false – just as it was when he said news of the hacks “wasn’t…brought up before [the] election” on Dec. 12.

The Obama Administration blamed the Russian government for hacking the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Oct. 7.

“We believe…that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement with the Department of Homeland Security that day.

But a Washington Post story and analysis by cyber-firm Crowdstrike published mid-June were the first to raise the flag that Russia may have been behind security breaches.

Only July 25, the FBI announced it was investigating the DNC breach.

Trump even raised the idea that Russia could have been behind the breach and suggested they release Clinton's emails in his last news conference – held July 27 – though he said the next day he was being sarcastic. Yet on Oct. 9 he suggested at the second presidential debate that “maybe there is no hacking.”

Election Day was Nov. 8, and since then, more actions have been taken by the White House.

President Obama ordered a review of the alleged hacking on Dec. 9, and asked it be ready and on his desk by the time he leaves office.

And on Dec. 12, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest suggested Trump benefited from the alleged Russian meddling directly since he had praised Russian President Vladimir Putin on the campaign trail as a “strong leader.”

Earnest said Thursday at the daily press briefing it was “obvious” that Trump knew during the campaign Russia was trying to interfere in the election and added that Trump should be supporting an investigation rather than questioning it.

But the hacking allegations weren’t the president-elect’s only point of focus Thursday morning.

He started off by criticizing Vanity Fair, a longtime target of Trump’s that has also feuded with the business magnate in its pages, which published a story a day earlier with the headline “Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America.”

“Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of Vanity Fair Magazine,” he wrote. “Way down, big trouble, dead! [Owner] Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!”

He has a habit of taking to Twitter to attack people or news outlets that have been critical of him or his policies. Since Dec. 3, he has gone after an Indiana steel union president, Boeing, China, NBC News, CNN, the Green Party, Saturday Night Live and Alec Baldwin on the social media outlet.

Just four minutes after he criticized Vanity Fair on Twitter, he thanked Time Magazine and the Financial Times for naming him “person of the year,” which he said was “a great honor!”

And before tweeting about Russia, Trump fired off another tweet disparaging his favorite target: “the media,” which has rightfully scrutinized his business dealings and connections as they pertain to his soon-to-be presidency.

“The media tries so hard to make my move to the White House, as it pertains to my business, so complex – when actually it isn’t!”

But the communications director for Trump’s transition team, Jason Miller, said just hours later that Trump’s finances were indeed complex.

Trump also canceled a news conference scheduled for this week – his first since July 27 -- in which he was to discuss his business dealings and how they will be handled in his transition to the presidency, but only hours later took to Twitter to discuss the matter without taking questions.

He said he would be leaving his businesses and that his sons, Don and Eric, as well as other executives would manage them. He said “no new deals” would be done while he is in office.

Trump has made Twitter his main soapbox for making statements, most-often in lieu of speaking through traditional media outlets he does not trust. But he also failed to invite Twitter to a technology roundtable Wednesday that featured many top U.S. tech companies. Surrogates said the company was "not big enough."

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