WASHINGTON ― U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies agree that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails with the intention of tipping the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump.
The FBI, which previously told lawmakers it could not be sure of the motive behind the Russian cyberattack, now agrees with the CIA assessment that Moscow intended to boost Trump’s chance of winning, The Washington Post reported on Friday.
The intelligence community first publicly accused Russia of orchestrating the attack in October, but declined to ascribe a motive at the time. As the November election neared, Democrats, frustrated by what they saw as clear and negative effects the leaked emails were having on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign, pressed the Obama administration for a stronger response.
President Barack Obama on Friday declined to confirm the Post’s report, but staunchly defended his administration’s handling of the Russian cyberattack. If the White House had explicitly warned voters of Moscow’s effort to boost Trump’s chances of winning, it would have looked like a political play on Clinton’s behalf, Obama said at what is likely his final press conference as president.
“In this hyper-partisan atmosphere, at a time when my primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any way damaged, at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the White House would immediately be seen through a partisan lens ― I wanted to make sure that everybody understood we were playing this thing straight,” Obama said. Read full story