President-elect Donald J. Trump, expressing skepticism about intelligence assessments of Russian interference in the US election, said that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the hacking, and that the information would be revealed “Tuesday or Wednesday.” He also underlined that no computer is safe and recommended sending important information the old fashion way, write it out and have it delivered by courier.
Speaking to a handful of reporters outside his Palm Beach, Fla., club, Mar-a-Lago, Trump cast his declarations of doubt as an effort to seek the truth.
“I just want them to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge,” Mr. Trump said of the intelligence agencies. “If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong,” he added, referring to intelligence cited by the George W. Bush administration to support its march to war in 2003. “So I want them to be sure,” the president-elect said. “I think it’s unfair if they don’t know.”
He added: “And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”
When asked what he knew that others did not, Mr. Trump demurred, saying only, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Mr. Trump, who does not use email, also advised people to avoid computers when dealing with delicate material. “It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way, because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” Mr. Trump said.
“I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe,” he added. “I have a boy who’s 10 years old; he can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.”
The comments were a departure from a statement that Trump issued through transition officials last week, in which he said that it was time for people to “move on” from the hacking issue but that he would be briefed on the matter by intelligence officials early in the new year.
Last week President Obama ordered a set of retaliatory measures against Russia over the election hacking. The United States expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shuttered two estates that it claimed had been used for intelligence-gathering.
The Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, declined to respond in kind to the measures, a gesture that Trump appeared to view favorably. He praised it on Twitter and criticized news media coverage that had been harsh about Russia.