Hours before the new year, Donald Trump—then still the president-elect—was speaking to a few reporters outside Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida. He was telling them about his doubts that the intelligence community would perform an accurate investigation into the cyberattacks that targeted Democrats in the months leading up to the election.
Trump had often claimed before that it would be difficult or impossible to identify the culprit behind the attacks. The hacker could’ve been anyone, he was fond of saying: Russia, China, or some 400-pound guy in a basement in New Jersey. His earlier claims had been baseless—but this time, Trump promised, he had some evidence to back up his accusations.
“I know a lot about hacking,” Trump said to the reporters, according to The New York Times. “And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else.” He was referring to the intelligence community’s determination that Russia was behind the cyberattacks.
Then, a bombshell: “And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.” Asked what he was talking about, Trump replied, “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday.”
Tuesday and Wednesday came and went without any new information on the cyberattacks from the president-elect. And on Friday, January 6, the intelligence community released a public version of its investigation into Russian interference in the lead-up to the election, which laid the blame for the hacking and the subsequent document leaks squarely at the feet of Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president.