President-elect alerts reporters on New Years Eve against being quick to pin blame on Moscow for the hacking of Democratic party emails

Donald Trump has expressed continued skepticism over whether Russia was responsible for computer hackers of Democratic party officials.

In remarks to reporters upon entering a New Years Eve gala at his Mar-a-Lago estate on Saturday night, Trump warned against being quick to pin the blame on Russia for the hacking of US emails.

I only want them to be sure, because its a pretty serious charge, he said.

And if you look at the weapons of weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong.

US intelligence officials have said that they are confident Russia was behind the US election hacks, which could have played a role in Trumps defeat over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

On Thursday, Barack Obama announced tough measures against Moscow, including the expulsion of 35 diplomats and the closure of two compounds in the US. Russia chose not to respond in kind, inspiring Trump to tweet praise of President Vladimir Putin, whom he called very smart.

The Washington Post also reported on Friday that Moscow could be behind malware found on a laptop owned by a Vermont electricity utility.

In response to that discovery, Vermont governor Peter Shumlin said: One of the worlds resulting thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality of life, economy, health, and safety.

At Mar-a-Lago, Trump said: I think its unfair if we dont know. It could be somebody else. I also know things that other people dont know so we cannot be sure.

And so I want them to be sure. I think its unfair if they dont know. And I know a great deal about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to demonstrate.

So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people dont know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.

Asked what that information included, the president-elect said: You will find out on Tuesday or Wednesday. He did not elaborated, although in a statement released on Thursday in response to Obamas sanctions, he said he would fulfill intelligence officials.

Trump has long questioned the reporting of Russian attempts to influence the election in his prefer, telling hackers could have been perpetrated by China or lone hackers, and recurred a passion for the country to move on.

On Saturday, he went on to say no computer is safe from hacking and suggest that using a pen and paper was the most effective way of exchanging information.

If you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by messenger, the old fashioned way, because Ill tell you what , no computer is safe, he said.

I have a boy whos 10 years old, he can do anything with a computer. You want something to genuinely go without detecting, write it out and have it sent by courier.

Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump)

Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!

December 31, 2016

Trump also left open the possibility of meeting with Taiwans president if she visits the United States after he is sworn in on 20 January.

Well see, he said when pressed on whether he would fulfill Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwans president if she were to be in the United States at any point after he becomes chairperson.

Taiwans president will be in transit in Houston on 7 January and again will be in transit in San Francisco on 13 January.

Beijing bristled when Trump, shortly after his 8 November victory, accepted a congratulatory telephone callfrom the Taiwan leader and has warned against steps that would upset the one-China policy China and the United States have maintained for decades.

Talk of a stopover in the United States by the Taiwan president has further rattled Washington-Beijing relations.

Trump spoke to reporters for four minutes before entering the New Years party, where guests included Sylvester Stallone and the model Fabio and for which invites had been sold at costs reported to be up to $575.

Aides rejected claims that the sale of tickets could constitute the sale of access to the president-elect and his family.

Earlier in the working day, after issuing a new year message via Twitter in which he sent love to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just dont know what to do, Trump ditched his press pond to play golf at one of his clubs.

He was reported, by Politico, to have thrown a biographer off one of his courses on Friday.

Trump has not held a formal press conference since July.

Read more: www.theguardian.com