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Amid hacking row, pressure builds on Trump to soften pro-Russia rhetoric

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn look at U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as he talks with the media at Mar-a-Lago estate where Trump attends meetings, in Palm Beach, FloridaBy Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump is finding himself caught between his desire to improve relations with Russia and fellow Republicans who are pushing for a harsher response to what American spy agencies say was the Kremlin’s meddling in the U.S. presidential election. The tacit acknowledgement on Sunday by his incoming chief of staff, Reince Priebus, that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic Party organizations suggests that Trump’s maneuvering room could be shrinking. Trump has long been dismissive of the U.S. intelligence conclusion that Russia was behind the election hacks, which Russia has denied, or was trying to help him win the November ballot, saying the intrusions could have been carried out by China or a 400-pound hacker sitting on his bed.

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