A CIA secret assessment has concluded Russian tried to help Donald Trump win the presidential election, reported The Washington Post. On Friday President Obama called for a “full review” of hacking incidents against the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton during the election.
Citing officials who were told about the investigation’s conclusion, the Post reported that the CIA shared the conclusion in a meeting with select senators in Capitol Hill last week. Agency officials who wished to remain anonymous said senators were told it was “quite clear” Russia tried to help Trump get elected. The secret assessment reportedly identified individuals with Russian government connections involved in the previously mentioned hacks.
“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,” said a senior U.S. official with information about the CIA meeting with senators. “That’s the consensus view.”
During a secret meeting for congressional leaders in September, Senate Rep. leader Mitch McConell said he didn’t think U.S. intelligence was accurate, according to officials at the meeting. Officials also said McConnell said he would consider “to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.” As in, McConell thought going public with the investigation would interfere with the election.
Rachel Maddow pointed out the importance of this McConell revelation, considering McConell’s wife Elaine Chao has been tapped as Trump’s pick for Transportation secretary. Go figure.
Hillary for America Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri has also commented on the report of the CIA’s assessment.
Some people disagreed with particulars of the report, though not its overall thrust. One senior U.S. official said there was no evidence of Kremlin officials “directing” the identified individuals to give the hacked Democratic emails to Wikileaks. However, that same official said the actors were only "one step" removed from the Russian government. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said that the Russian government "is not the source" of the hacked emails.
Trump’s transition team released a statement in response to the report, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and Make America Great Again.”