Former DNC chair: Trump needs to acknowledge Russians behind hack of DNC emails

Former DNC chair: Trump needs to acknowledge Russians behind hack of DNC emails
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Former interim Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairwoman Donna Brazile on Sunday said President TrumpDonald TrumpMedia giants side with Bannon on request to release Jan. 6 documents Cheney warns of consequences for Trump in dealings with Jan. 6 committee Jan. 6 panel recommends contempt charges for Trump DOJ official MORE needs to acknowledge the Justice Department's indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officials for the 2016 hack of DNC emails, and called on the president to protect the country from a similar attack on U.S. elections.

"It is finally acknowledged that the hacking was a crime. At the time of the hacking, nobody believed us and we didn’t have anyone to come to our defense," Brazile said on ABC's "This Week," where she serves as a contributor.

"There was no way we could go to Staples, or Best Buy, or Office Depot or Office Max to buy anti-GRU military intelligence software to protect and defend ourselves" she added.

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Brazile called on Trump to confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about the indictment during the leaders' meeting on Monday in Finland, and to ensure that federal agencies are prepared to defend against any future attacks on U.S. elections.

"I think the most important thing, now that we know there are several witches, not some 400-pound guy sitting on the bed, the president needs to acknowledge this and recognize that he has to defend and protect our democracy," she said.

Trump memorably suggested during a presidential debate in September 2016 that there was no way to know that Russia was responsible for the DNC hack. 

“I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC,” Trump said. “Maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” 

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE handed down indictments on Friday against 12 Russian intelligence officers, saying that they interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections. Mueller charged 11 of the officers with conspiring to hack into the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee networks.

The other officer was charged with conspiring to hack into election systems, including a state elections board website.

Trump has not condemned Putin or Russia for the charges.

He has instead cast blame on the Obama administration for failing to take more aggressive action in response, and said the DNC "should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked."

Brazile took over as DNC chairwoman during the 2016 Democratic National Convention, after the party's system had already been hacked.

On Sunday, she was critical of the way major media outlets published and reported on hacked DNC emails during the 2016 campaign, saying it "went right to heart of what Mr. Putin was trying to do."

— This report was updated at 12:04 p.m.