Psaki tells TikTok influencers Russia ‘hacked our election’ in 2016

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki spoke with popular users of the Chinese social media platform TikTok on Thursday, where she claimed that the Russian government «hacked» the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

During a briefing for TikTok influencers about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Psaki noted that that unlike previous diplomatic conflicts with Russia, the U.S. government has declassified information relevant to the public.

«The best antidote to disinformation is the truth. And one of the big steps we’ve taken, and made a decision to make, is declassify information over the course of the last several months,» Psaki told the group. 

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«If you look back at 2014, and frankly even 2016, when Russia invaded Ukraine and then in 2016, when they, you know, of course, hacked our election here, we did not do that, we did not declassify information,» Psaki told the group of influencers.

While Russian hackers were behind the stealing of emails from Democratic officials like John Podesta, there is no evidence that they tampered with election results as part of the 2016 hacking spree. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Psaki was joined on the call by an official from the National Security Council, who added to Psaki’s statements on Russian disinformation, saying that the Biden administration’s correct prediction that Ukraine would be invaded has given the White House more credibility moving forward.

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«I think we’ve now built up a bit of credibility, we absolutely were not crying wolf here. And every step we predicted the Russians were going to take, they have taken,» the official said. 

«So hopefully that has helped cut down the credibility of their disinformation. But it is still a daily struggle where we’re constantly trying to knock down things they are saying, accusations they are making that have no basis in fact at all.»

A recording of the White House briefing was posted online by a Washington Post reporter.