Central Intelligence Agency officials had previously said their assessment was that Russian Federation intervened in the election in order to help Republican Donald Trump.
Obama all-but accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering an audacious cyber hack that many Democrats believe gravely wounded Hillary Clinton in a closely fought election.
"My hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don't have foreign influence in our election process", Mr. Obama said at his year-end press conference at the White House.
"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election", she said, according to audio obtained by the New York Times adding "he is determined to score a point against me which he did".
Regarding specific acts of retaliation, Obama said some would be carried out publicly, but that in other cases, "the message will be directly received by the Russians and not publicized".
"So in early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that didn't happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out and there were going to be serious consequences if he didn't". Mr Putin hoped to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the USA to be a credible global leader anymore", the source said.
The Kremlin rejected the claim of Putin's involvement, with Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov dismissing it as "laughable nonsense".
"The President-elect's dismissal of U.S. intelligence pinning Russian Federation 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", reported CNN on Friday. Obama said that US officials should not let "the inter-family argument between Americans" obscure the need for people to "stand together" on this issue.
But the White House pointed to a US intelligence assessment released publicly in October that asserted "only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities".
The president has promised a "proportional" yet unspecified response to the hacking of the Democratic Party and Clinton's campaign chairman.
"He has listened", Obama said of Trump. Clinton's remarks came as the Obama administration has pledged to take action against Russian Federation for the hacking attacks.
In his final press conference of 2016, President Obama - in his usual, staid tones - fielded question after question about Russia's alleged election interference.
"They would be the first to acknowledge that we have done everything we can to make sure they are successful", Obama said of the Trump team, adding that "cooperation will continue". "I think we handled it the way it should have been handled", he said.
The explosive accusation suggests Putin, the leader of perhaps America's greatest geopolitical foe, as having directly undermined US democracy. The source said while Putin's "fingerprints" were not on the hacking, "the nature of the operation was such that this had to be approved by top levels of the Russian government".