This feels like it should be something out of a movie, but it’s not — and it’s just plain scary.
The CIA concluded a secret internal assessment this week and revealed today in a briefing with U.S. senators that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump win the election.
According to officials that were briefed on the assessment by the CIA, Russia went further than just trying to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system (which had apparently been the CIA’s initial concern), and actually took an active role in helping The Donald become the President-elect.
In a report published Friday evening by the Washington Post, a senior U.S. official briefed on the CIA presentation made to politicians this week said:
“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. That’s the consensus view.”
While Trump himself has droned on about how email hacking before the election could have been China, or a random guy living in a basement somewhere, actual intelligence officials have worked hard to hone in on Russia, where they now know the hacking was a Russian job.
CIA officials told the U.S. senators this week that it was “quite clear” that Russia’s lone goal was to elect Donald Trump, in allegedly helping Wikileaks release Hillary Clinton‘s emails and other Democratic documents and messages throughout the campaign.
Horrifying — and it should make you wonder why they want Trump elected so badly. Hint: it’s not because he’s a “tough guy.”
For Barack Obama‘s part, he’s been working on how to deal with Russian hacking problems for months, according to the report, and he now wants a “full review” of Russian hacking during the campaign to hit his desk before he leaves office on January 20.
Speaking at a media breakfast, Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, said of the new reality in Washington:
“We may have crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned.”
As for Republicans in Congress, well, they aren’t that interested in jumping on the Russia train just yet.
Devin Nunes, a representative from California and a member of the Trump transition team, said:
“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ even now. There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
Regardless, if the American intelligence community says it, they aren’t saying it lightly — and it might be wise for Rep. Nunes and others to strongly consider exactly what this means for the American electoral process.
Truly unnerving stuff…
[Image via Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN.]