Obama won’t specifically blame Putin

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Photo: MSNBC

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is stopping short of saying President Vladimir Putin himself orchestrated the Russian hacking of U.S. political sites during the election. But he is confirming that it was done at the highest levels of the Kremlin.

Obama says not much happens in Russia without a nod from Putin. Obama also says he wants to give the intelligence community a chance to issue a report on the hacking before the end of his administration. But he cautions that some information will be classified because disclosing it would divulge the way in which the U.S. has been able to collect the intelligence.

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Obama criticized Republicans for warming to Putin, saying, “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave.” The Senate intelligence committee says it will conduct a thorough, bipartisan investigation and hold hearings about what led to the Obama administration’s Oct 7 statement that the Russian government directed hacking of political sites.

Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina says, “The committee will follow the intelligence wherever it leads.”