Trump downplays Russia in comments on hack, says 'it may be China'

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump in his first comments about a widespread data breach across the US government downplayed the impact of the cyber espionage campaign and questioned whether Russia was to blame.

"The Cyber Hack is far greater in the Fake News Media than in actuality," Mr Trump said on Twitter on Saturday.

"Russia, Russia, Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)"

Mr Trump, who lost the Nov 3 presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden, also continued his baseless claims of election fraud.

"There could also have been a hit on our ridiculous voting machines during the election, which is now obvious that I won big, making it an even more corrupted embarrassment for the USA," he said

Mr Trump's assertion that China may be behind the hacking spree runs counter to comments by his own Secretary of State.

"We can say pretty clearly that it was the Russians that engaged in this activity," said Mr Mike Pompeo on Friday in an interview.

Among the government agencies affected, according to media reports, are the State Department, the Treasury, the Commerce Department and the Homeland Security Department. - REUTERS, AFP