The top Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence committees said Thursday they have concluded Russian intelligence agencies are making a "serious and concerted effort" to influence the US presidential election, the AP reports. A joint statement issued by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff goes farther than the Obama administration in pointing a finger at Moscow for recent hacking of political computer systems. Federal officials are investigating cyberattacks at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Election data systems in at least two states also have been breached.
"At the least, this effort is intended to sow doubt about the security of our election and may well be intended to influence the outcomes of the election," Schiff and Feinstein said. "We can see no other rationale for the behavior of the Russians." They called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a halt to the political hacking, which Moscow has denied. The US hasn't formally blamed Russia for the hack of Democratic emails, but the White House has publicly noted that outside investigators have determined that Russia is to blame. Asked whether the US might respond to the hacking, President Obama's homeland security adviser said "Stay tuned." (Read more Russia stories.)