Trump thanks Putin for Christmas letter, offers to restore relations

Gates, Hadley and Rice have also talked with foreign governments that are puzzled about how to approach Trump.

After a year in which, by nearly any measure, Mr Putin can be said to have raised his and Russia's stature on the worldwide stage, the President appeared relaxed and confident speaking before a room full of journalists and a TV audience of millions.

Trump has also suggested that US allies such as Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, all of whom rely on the USA nuclear deterrent, could acquire nuclear weapons for their own defense.

On Monday electors gathered in state capitols to cast their Electoral College votes for President; meanwhile, the current president is doubling-down on the claim that Russian Federation - and Vladimir Putin himself - meddled in and may have influenced the US election.

"Vladimir Putin said today about Hillary and Dems: 'In my opinion, it is humiliating".

"Reagan would be happy that representatives of his party win everywhere, and he would be happy for the president-elect", Putin said, adding with a smile: "No one but us believed in his victory".

There was a note of hope, of sorts, in Trump's tweet, the part where he said "until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes".

Even with a trimmed down nuclear arsenal, the US spends an average of about $20 billion per year on nukes. He didn't say that he manipulated the USA elections, but he said that the world is better off without the Democrats in the White House.

Obama was expected to face questions about the hacking and his response during a news conference at the White House on Friday afternoon.

Trump's tweet came after Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered some chest-thumping lines of his own about strengthening nuclear forces.

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JUDY WOODRUFF: Israel rejected the resolution and the US abstention, and so did top Republicans in Congress. House Speaker Paul Ryan called the administration's action, quote, "absolutely shameful".

"Trump's promise to begin a nuclear arms race is incredibly concerning for the entire globe", Robinson wrote Saturday, "and we hope that Senator Sanders and others will do more in the future to protect the nation from such unsafe outcomes". "Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly".

In response, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby remarked, "Obviously, we don't agree and have issues with Russian Federation on a variety of issues, but dialogue has not been broken". I think you can make an argument here in the USA we can all talk about whether Clinton and her team post-election can handle their loss properly.

However, Lazare expressed a concern as to whether that course of action could succeed.

And on Friday, Trump went even further. Every Republican, including you, that is if you are one of them, would have been screaming "TREASON!"

JOHN YANG: A Christmas-themed cable morning show was the messenger for President-elect Trump's latest salvo on the national's nuclear arsenal.

In the NPR interview, Obama sought to contrast the current incident with "a traditional understanding that everybody's trying to gather intelligence on everybody else". We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living. Obama said that USA officials should not let "the inter-family argument between Americans" obscure the need for people to "stand together" on this issue. But that's not what the president-elect said.

The explosive accusation suggests Putin, the leader of perhaps America's greatest geopolitical foe, directly undermined USA democracy.

The report cited US intelligence officials that now believe with a "high level of confidence" that Putin became personally involved in a secret campaign to influence the outcome of the USA presidential election.

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