CIA Bombshell: Russia Acted to Give Trump the White House

Meanwhile, Russia also hacked GOP, but leaked nothing damning
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2016 8:03 AM CST
CIA Bombshell: Russia Acted to Give Trump the White House
In this Sept. 28, 2016 file photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill. A Homeland Security Department official says hackers have targeted the voter registration systems of more than 20 states in recent months. Comey told lawmakers the agency is looking “very, very hard” at Russian hackers...   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Reversing months of vague muttering about Russian influence, the CIA secretly told "key senators" that Russian hackers actively tried to put Donald Trump in the Oval Office, reports the Washington Post in one of a pair of damning reports Saturday on Russia's efforts at influencing an American election. In the other, the New York Times reports that Russian hackers accessed both the RNC and the DNC—but released only damning emails from Democrats' side, while sitting on "whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks." Republicans contend that no information was released because they were never hacked, while the Trump transition team moved quickly to dismiss notions of any meddling. "These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," it said in a statement released Friday night. "The election ended a long time ago ... It’s now time to move on."

"We now have high confidence that they hacked the DNC and the RNC, and conspicuously released no documents" from the latter, a source tells the Times. Adds a senior official briefed on the CIA report, per the Post, "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." While the CIA is citing what the Post calls "a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources," inter-agency disagreement about the scope of tampering exists and American intelligence has identified Russian actors that are "one step" removed from government, not officials from the Kremlin itself. GOP leaders remain skeptical. "I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence—even now," said Rep. Devin Nunes, House Intel committee chair and Trump transition team member. Chuck Schumer called the findings "stunning but not surprising," per the Post; President Obama has ordered a full review of the claims. Read the Post report or the Times report. (More Election 2016 stories.)

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