For nearly two months now, President-elect Donald Trump has consistently denied that the Russian government had any involvement in the hacking and release of private emails pertaining to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.
A total of 17 intelligence agencies have stated that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the cyber-attacks originated in Russia and were most likely carried out with the goal of helping Trump win the presidency.
Rather than heed the intelligence community's warnings, Trump has assured his followers that fugitive Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has assured him that the emails stolen from the DNC and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta did not come from Russia.
Today, Trump is finding it more difficult than ever to make the case that he knows more than the CIA, FBI, NSA and Department of Justice combined, thanks to a newly declassified 25-page report that claims Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered the cyber-attacks against the US.
The report indicates that the attacks were part of Putin's attempt to improve Trump's chances of getting elected and "undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order."
The findings were presented to Trump at a meeting with intelligence officials Friday afternoon.
Following the meeting, Trump dialed back his earlier statements about the leaks in a statement issued to the media.
He no longer claims that the Russia is not responsible for the hacks, but he continues to maintain that the attacks had "absolutely no effect" on the outcome of the election, a
US politicians and foreign leaders alike have been critical of Trump's continued defense of a foreign power that has been openly hostile to the United States, but the former real estate mogul shows no signs of changing course.
"Sr Trump, the intelligence report is devastating. Losing election by more than 3M votes and in addition this.Are you a legitimate president?" former Mexican president Vicente Fox tweeted moments ago, reflecting the sentiments of much of the global community.
Trump has been silent about the findings on his favorite communication platform, Twitter, which has long been his preferred means of addressing his supporters.
Instead of addressing the allegations against Putin, Trump has chosen to once again attack the intelligence community and carry on his bizarre feud with NBC.
"I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it," he tweeted just after this afternoon's meeting.
Earlier today, the president-elect attacked both NBC and Arnold Schwarzenegger, arguing on Twitter that The Celebrity Apprentice had higher ratings when Trump was hosting.