Obama criticizes media for reporting on information hacked by Russia

President Obama.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In his final press conference of the year, President Obama on Friday insisted his administration handled Russia's hack of the Democratic National Committee "the way it should have been handled." Obama revealed that when he met one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the summer, he told Putin to "cut it out" with regard to the cyberattacks. After that interaction, Obama said, he "did not see further tampering of the election process," but by then "everybody had the information" thanks to the press and WikiLeaks.

While Obama refused to say whether that information lost Hillary Clinton the election, he did not shy away from taking shots at the media for covering "every little juicy tidbit of political gossip, including John Podesta's risotto recipe," that related to Clinton. "I don't think she was treated fairly during the election," Obama said of Clinton. "I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling."

Moving forward, Obama urged President-elect Donald Trump to focus on appropriately handling cybersecurity issues, rather than on making them a "political football." "That concerns me, and it should concern all of us," Obama said, referring to the DNC hack.

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In the wide-ranging press conference, a notably somber Obama also grappled with the Republican voters' growing approval of Putin, Democrats' still "raw" feelings over Trump's win, and the ongoing bloodshed in Syria. "I always feel responsible," Obama said of conflicts both at home and abroad. "I ask myself every single day: Is there something I could do every day to save lives and make a difference?"

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