Vladimir Putin directed efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election with the goal of helping President-elect Donald Trump win, the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency concluded in a report released Friday.
Moscow is responsible for cyberattacks directed at the Democratic National Committee, the authors of the report argued. Russian spies gained access to DNC networks in July 2015 and maintained access until at least June 2016, according to the report.
“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations,” the three agencies concluded.
The highly anticipated report is the intelligence community’s strongest expression yet of the charge that Russia was behind the DNC hacks and distributed information from those hacks to the public using various channels. But the report does not provide a complete explanation of how the agencies reached that conclusion. The reason for that, intelligence officials say, is that declassified documents cannot include “specific intelligence and sources and methods.”
Congressional leaders who have access to the classified report seem convinced, though.
There’s now enough evidence to conclude that Russia “clearly tried to meddle in our political system,” Paul Ryan (Wis.), the Republican speaker of the House, said Friday.
“I wish that you could see the entire report,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “Protecting sources and methods is a very high priority for us — but I think maybe the intelligence community in their protecting sources and methods could maybe release a little more information at least to Members of Congress, if not to the public domain.” Read full post here