Senate Intelligence Panel: Putin Was Helping Trump

06 July, 2018, 01:38 | Author: Carlos George
  • Senate Intelligence Committee Russia meddled in 2016 to hurt Clinton and help Trump

The Senate Intelligence Committee backed the finding by USA intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, ultimately intending to help Donald Trump win.

The January 2017 intelligence assessment said Russian activities in the run-up to the presidential election represented a "significant escalation" in a long history of Russian attempts to interfere in United States domestic politics, the committee said.

"While most of the analysis contained in the [intelligence community assessment] held up to scrutiny, the Committee investigation found that ICA judgments on Putin's strategic objectives failed to meet most of the analytic standards set forth in the primary guiding document for IC analysis, Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) 203, Analytic Standards", the House's report said.

The senators found that the Kremlin directed Russia's meddling, interfering specifically to hurt Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, and help Trump, the Republican nominee.

The committee, in its summary, also said it "heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions" and that differences in confidence between the National Security Administration, CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation on Putin's desire to help Trump's election "appropriately represents analytic differences and was reached in a professional and transparent manner".

The Senate report comes ahead of Trump's summit with Putin in Helsinki on July 16, at which Trump is expected to raise the issue of Russian interference in the polls. Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the committee, said in a statement. Trump tweeted on Thursday.

The Senate summary noted there were different confidence levels between the National Security Agency and the CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation about whether Putin and the Russian government were aspiring to help Trump; the CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation assessed with "high confidence" and the NSA with "moderate confidence". But House panel Republicans, in a report on April 27, did say that Russian Federation ran an information warfare campaign to disrupt the election.

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The committee also declared the ICA was not itself influenced by politics.

"In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA (intelligence community assessment), the committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions", the committee said.

The House Intelligence Committee has been split along partisan lines, releasing Republican and Democratic versions of various reports.

The House Intelligence Committee also found that Russian Federation meddled in the election in their final report earlier this year.

The conclusion has been affirmed by Trump's entire national security team, but the President himself has repeatedly refused to state that Russian Federation was meddling to help him.

The report is the latest example of how the Senate Intelligence Committee has diverged from its House counterpart. 'The president has been clear and he's said it many times that he feels Russian Federation interfered in our election'.

The report mentions the committee's investigators reviewed evidence of "an extensive Russian effort to manipulate social media outlets" that goes beyond the ICA's January report.

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