White House accuses Putin of direct role in interference with 2016 election

The White House suggested during a press conference on Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly responsible for cyberattacks meant to sway the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Associated Press reported.

According to the AP, the White House called it "fact" that hacking swayed the election in Donald Trump's favor — and that Trump was likely aware of Russian cyberattacks. White House press secretary Josh Earnest reportedly said it was "obvious" that Trump was aware of Russia's interference in the campaign through hacks.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaking on Thursday.Susan Walsh/AP

News broke on Wednesday that U.S. intelligence officials believed Putin himself directed the Russian hack on Hillary Clinton's campaign as part of both a "vendetta" against Clinton and an attempt to discredit the U.S. as a global leader, NBC News reported.

Dec. 15, 2016, 3:32 p.m.: This story has been updated

Correction: Dec. 15, 2016