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With Donald Trump's inauguration only days away, U.S. intelligence officials have raised new concerns about relations between the United States and Russia. A report released on Jan. 6 concluded that “an influence campaign” ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and help elect Trump. The president-elect, who has had longstanding business ties with Russian investors, has angered leaders in both parties by praising Putin's leadership skills and downplaying U.S. intelligence officials' claims that Russian hackers tried to influence the 2016 election. Trump also has stirred controversy by nominating an oil executive with previous business dealings in Russia to head the State Department. Meanwhile, Putin has aggressively pushed to re-establish the country's geopolitical importance by annexing part of Ukraine, joining Iran in supporting Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad and using hackers and fake news to promote populist candidates and discredit democracy in Europe. In response, the United States and European Union have imposed economic sanctions and bolstered NATO defenses in Central Europe.
Rex Tillerson faced tough questions during his confirmation for secretary of State.
Intelligence officials say Russia tried to influence the U.S. election.
Trump’s comments about Putin are raising eyebrows.