"There’s ample evidence that was known long before the election, and in most cases long before October, about the Trump campaign and Russia," Earnest said Wednesday. He said the evidence included "everything from the Republican nominee himself calling on Russia to hack his opponent. It might be an indication that he was obviously aware and concluded based on whatever facts or sources he was, he had available to him that Russia was involved."
Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway took issue with Earnest's comments in an appearance on Fox News Thursday morning.
"That is just remarkable. That is breathtaking," Conway said. "It's incredibly irresponsible, and I wonder if his boss, President Obama, agrees."
Conway then suggested that the investigation into Clinton's private email server as secretary of state might be relaunched, even though Trump himself has said it's time to put that issue in the past.
Trump himself took to Twitter on Thursday morning to criticize Obama's recent order of a full investigation into Russian hacking in the U.S. election, which came after leaks to reporters that the CIA believes the Kremlin specifically sought to swing the election in Trump's favor.
The public criticism by Trump and his senior adviser follows weeks of the president-elect suggesting a warm relationship with President Obama and a smooth handoff of power.
Just Tuesday evening at a rally in Wisconsin, Trump looked to quiet boos from the crowd after he brought up the Obama family. He said both the president and first lady have been "very nice" to him during the transition.
Earlier, following Trump's victory, Obama said, "We are now all rooting for [Trump's] success in uniting and leading the country."
"The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, and over the next few months we are going to show that to the world," the president said.