A secret assessment conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency confirms that yes, Russia deliberately meddled in the U.S. presidential election. And no, they didn’t do it just to undermine confidence in the American election system, they did it to help Donald Trump win.
The Washington Post reported on Friday:
“Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.”
A senior U.S. official familiar with the assessment said the CIA’s investigation found that Russia had a specific purpose behind their unprecedented interference.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” the official explained. “That’s the consensus view.”
The CIA informed key senators of their latest findings last week during a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. Citing an ever-growing list of evidence from a variety of sources, the agency said it is “quite clear” at this point that Russia’s goal was to get Trump into the White House.
However, some questions remain unanswered. The Post explains: “For example, intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing officials in the Kremlin ‘directing’ the identified individuals to pass the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said. Those actors, according to the official, were ‘one step’ removed from the Russian government, rather than government employees. Moscow has in the past used middlemen to participate in sensitive intelligence operations so it has plausible deniability.”
On Friday, President Obama ordered a “full review” of Russia’s involvement in the hack of the Democratic National Committee and interference in November’s election. He wants the report completed and on his desk before he leaves office in January. Several Republicans have also announced that they are launching a wide-ranging probe into Russia’s meddling.
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