The FBI is supporting the CIA's conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election with the goal of supporting Republican candidate Donald Trump. In a message sent to employees, CIA Director John Brennan said he had spoken with FBI Director James Comey and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. Brennan said in the message that "there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election." A US official who had seen the unclassified message from Brennan confirmed it to the AP on Friday. Per CNN, "Multiple sources say the CIA director was responding in part to anger and frustration in the agency at charges ... that the CIA was somehow politicizing intelligence and analysis regarding Russian hacking."
The explosive accusation suggests Putin, the leader of perhaps America's greatest geopolitical foe, directly undermined US democracy. US officials have not contended, however, that Trump would have been defeated by Clinton on Nov. 8 if not for Russia's assistance. Nor has there has been any indication of tampering with the vote-counting. Trump has been under increasing pressure from both parties to acknowledge Russia's actions, despite his insistence that he doesn't believe Moscow was meddling. Trump has rejected the CIA's assessment that Russia's aim was to help him win and argued on Twitter that "these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction." (Read more Election 2016 stories.)