Gloves-off White House creates Russia rift between Obama and Trump teams

Even as President Barack Obama seeks to maintain an amicable relationship with Trump in an attempt to influence his successor’s agenda, the public spat between aides over Russia’s hacking has turned into the type of bitter back-and-forth the White House initially sought to avoid in the days immediately following the election…

Obama and some top aides were said to be irritated when reports emerged that Trump seemed stunned at the scale of the presidency during his Oval Office meeting on November 10 — and they were concerned it could lead to him turning away from Obama, who remains intent on not antagonizing Trump as he continues phone consultations with his successor…

The President-elect’s dismissal of US intelligence pinning Russia to the hacking was “materially different” from Trump’s other bombastic statements, according to one White House official who spoke anonymously to describe internal thinking. It motivated the White House to alter its approach.

Obama administration officials viewed Trump as waging an outright attack on the intelligence community, the official said, and worried about the implications of his words on national security going forward.