“I think that what is true is that the Russians intended to meddle and they meddled,” President Obama told George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview that will air on "This Week" Sunday.
The President also warned against letting partisan divides undermine U.S. intelligence.
The president warned of the threat to future elections if the United States doesn’t address the issue of cybersecurity.
“You have I think the clear example of how, if we're not vigilant, foreign countries can have an impact on the political debate in the United States in ways that might not have been true 10, 20, 30 years ago, in part because of the way news is transmitted and in part because so many people are skeptical of mainstream news organizations that everything's true and everything's false. You know, nothing is settled. Everything is contested,” the president said.
Obama said he had an additional piece of advice for the president-elect.
“One of the things that I've urged the president-elect to do is to develop a strong working relationship with the intelligence community,” Obama said. “I think it's important that Congress, on a bipartisan basis, work with the next administration, looking forward to make sure that this kind of influence is minimized.”
“We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team," Obama added.
Asked by Stephanopoulos if he underestimated Putin, Obama said he doesn't think he did.
"I don't think I underestimated him, but I think that I underestimated the degree to which, in this new information age, it is possible for misinformation, for cyberhacking and so forth to have an impact on our open societies, our open systems, to insinuate themselves into our democratic practices in ways that I think are accelerating," he said.
"There are going to be elections coming up among our NATO allies that we have to pay attention to," the president said. "I anticipate that this kind of thing can happen again here. And so in addition to the report assessing what exactly happened, what we have also done is to make sure that the Department of Homeland Security and our intelligence teams are working with the various folks who run our elections."