In his first news conference in 168 days, Donald Trump addressed the intelligence community’s reports blaming Russia of influencing the election by hacking the Democratic National party’s email server. At one point, he admitted that if Vladimir Putin ordered the hacks to aide his victory, it might not have been so bad after all.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks, that's called an asset, not a liability,” the president-elect told reporters on Wednesday morning. He also condemned the recent unverified reports that Moscow had compromised his administration by labelling them as fake news.

“I will say again that I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out,” he continued. “I read the information it’s all fake news it didn’t happen and it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know because you reported it and so did many of the other people, it was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together.”

While the president-elect said he hopes to get along with the Russian leader, he admitted that there’s a good possibility that he won’t.

"If I don't, do you honestly believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me?,” he asked reporters.

“Does anybody in this room honestly believe that? Give me a break.”

By the end of the news conference, Trump was asked if he’s been in contact with Russia’s president and if he wanted to send a message to Putin regarding the hacking allegations.

Trump has engaged in this behavior all along. He has exploited the material Russia hacked and leaked. He has minimized Russia’s misconduct. He has disputed, and often scorned, evidence of its guilt. He has ignored U.S. intelligence. He has bragged about Putin’s admiration of him. He has mocked Democrats and Republicans who side with U.S. intelligence against Russia.

Trump may be right that the dossier published on Tuesday is garbage. But if the charge against him is that he defends Russia’s interests over America’s, you don’t need to read the dossier. All you need to do is listen to what he says.

Source: The independent