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Trump dismisses Russian meddling in US polls

WASHINGTON (AFP) – President-elect Donald Trump dismissed a brewing storm over Russian cyber meddling in the US election, rejecting as ‘‘ridiculous’’ reports that the CIA has concluded that Moscow was trying to help him win the White House.

‘‘I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it,’’ Trump said in an interview recorded on Saturday but broadcast Sunday on Fox News.

‘‘I think it’s ridiculous,’’ Trump said.

In the interview Trump touched on other issues – questioning US commitment to the ‘‘one China policy’’ without concessions from Beijing, criticizing ‘‘out of control’’ Pentagon arms contracts, and hailing Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who is under consideration for secretary of state, as ‘‘a world class player.’’

But the controversy over the latest US intelligence consensus on Russia and Trump’s skepticism of the findings dominated the conversation at a time of deepening political divisions over how to respond to the hacking attacks.

Two top Republican senators – John McCain and Lindsey Graham – joined leading Democrats Sunday in calling for greater public disclosure about ‘‘recent cyber attacks that have cut to the heart of our free society.’’

‘‘This cannot become a partisan issue. The stakes are too high for our country,’’ they said in a joint statement with Chuck Schumer, the incoming Democratic leader in the Senate, and Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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