Hacking, Russian hacking, U.S. 2016 elections, Germany’s 2017 election

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Russian hackingFBI agrees with CIA: Russia’s cyberattacks campaign aimed to help Trump win election

Published 16 December 2016

The U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities are now united in their conclusion that Russian government hackers have actively intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections to help Donald Trump win the presidency. FBI director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have strongly supported the CIA assessment, which reached the same conclusions. Trump has consistently praised Vladimir Putin and his policies – and has consistently rejected the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions about Russian government hacking.

The U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities are now united in their conclusion that Russian government hackers have actively intervened in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

FBI director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have strongly supported the CIA assessment, which reached the same conclusions.

The Washington Post reports that Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion means that the leaders of the three agencies are in agreement over Russian intentions. Earlier this week, some lawmakers said that there were differences among the various U.S. intelligence agencies. These lawmakers argued that while it was incontrovertible that the Russian government had ordered a massive hacking campaign of the U.S. elections, the FBI was unsure that the motive for the hacking was to ensure a Trump victory.

Comey’s statement is evidence that the U.S. intelligence community is united in its assessment of the Russian government’s motives.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.

“The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI,” Brennan’s message read.

Trump has consistently praised Vladimir Putin and his policies – and has consistently rejected the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions about Russian government hacking.

The Post notes that two weeks ago, the CIA shared its latest assessment with leading senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill. In the meeting, senior agency officials shared with the lawmakers a growing and compelling body of intelligence from multiple sources. The CIA briefers told the senators specifically that it was now “quite clear” that one of Russia’s goals was electing Trump.

Officials in the CIA and FBI told lawmakers that in addition to helping Trump win the election, Russia’s was also seeking to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.

The notion that the FBI agreed with the CIA on the fact that the Russian government ordered the hacking campaign, but was less sure that the goal of the hacking was to help Trump, was the result of a separate House intelligence briefing last week by a senior FBI counterintelligence official, in which the impression was crated that the FBI may not be on the same page as the CIA with regard to Russian intentions.

“The truth is they were never all that different in the first place,” an official told the Post about the FBI and CIA positions.

In his message to the CIA’s employees, Brennan said the administration has kept lawmakers and their aides updated since the summer.

“In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed,” Brennan wrote. “Many – but unfortunately not all – members understand and appreciate the importance and the gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway.”

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