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Secret CIA Assessment: Russia Was Attempting to Assist Trump

The CIA has reason to believe that Russia interfered in the Presidential election to install Donald Trump as President.

The Hill reports:

A secret CIA assessment has concluded that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election in an effort to help Donald Trump win the presidency, according to a report by The Washington 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,” a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators told the Post. “That’s the consensus view.”

According to the report published on Friday, the intelligence agencies have identified various individuals who helped the Russian government leak hacked documents from various Democratic sources, including the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, to WikiLeaks.

The New York Times also reported Friday, citing senior administration officials, that Russian actors also hacked the Republican National Committee (RNC) but chose not to release the information.

The CIA assessment also concluded that the core purpose of the interference was not to disrupt or undermine the election process, but a deliberate attempt to help the Republican nominee win the White House.

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again,'” the Trump transition said in a statement.

The CIA shared their findings with several senators in a closed-door briefing session last week, and told the lawmakers that it was “quite clear” that electing Trump was Moscow’s key objective, the officials told the publication.

However, there were also some disagreements about the CIA findings, particularly relating to the extent of Kremlin’s involvement in the operation. According to the report, the intelligence officials said that the Russian actors who passed the hacked information to WikiLeaks were “one step” removed from Moscow.

Trump has previously denied the possibility of a Russian interference in the 2016 election, stating that he does not trust premature conclusions of various intelligence sources.

President Obama on Friday also ordered a full review of the alleged Russian involvement in the election, stating that he wants it to be complete by the end of his term.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr.

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