The Washington Post published a report this weekend that claims the CIA has found that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency. That is simply not true.
The Washington Post offered no evidence in the article which indicts Russia.
In October the FBI had a different conclusion. The FBI found that the hacking into Democratic emails was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.
FBI investigation concludes there’s no evidence that Russia tried to help Trump win the election: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/01/us/politics/fbi-russia-election-donald-trump.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0 …
Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia after lengthy investigations, officials also believe that a hacking of Democratic emails was aimed at disrupting the election rather than electing Mr. Trump.
The New York Times reported:
For much of the summer, the F.B.I. pursued a widening investigation into a Russian role in the American presidential campaign. Agents scrutinized advisers close to Donald J. Trump, looked for financial connections with Russian financial figures, searched for those involved in hacking the computers of Democrats, and even chased a lead — which they ultimately came to doubt — about a possible secret channel of email communication from the Trump Organization to a Russian bank.
Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump.
Hillary Clinton’s supporters, angry over what they regard as a lack of scrutiny of Mr. Trump by law enforcement officials, pushed for these investigations. In recent days they have also demanded that James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I., discuss them publicly, as he did last week when he announced that a new batch of emails possibly connected to Mrs. Clinton had been discovered.
How did last week’s intelligence assessment differ from previous reports about Russia’s hacking of U.S. political institutions?
U.S.A Today reported:
In October, U.S. officials formally identified the Russian government as the source of intrusions into Democratic Party systems. Those hacks— which produced a trove of embarrassing internal communications for public distribution on the websites DCLeaks and WikiLeaks — led to the resignation of Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the national convention. The leaks also led supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders to loudly protest that the Democratic primaries were rigged against him.
The October finding, announced by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, concluded that the disclosures were “intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.” The new assessment takes it a major step further, indicating that Russia aimed to sway the election in Trump’s favor. The conclusion is that Republican Party computer systems also may have been breached, but that internal information was not distributed publicly. The Republican Party denies that its computers were hacked.
On what points of the new Russian assessment do the CIA and other intelligence authorities differ with the FBI?
The FBI does not dispute that the CIA’s assessment could be accurate, said a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter. The difference lies in the standards the agencies require in reaching those conclusions. While the CIA develops assessments based on a broad interpretation of available data, the FBI, as a law enforcement agency, requires a standard of proof that could sustain a possible criminal prosecution.
There have been differences, the official said, in how much weight to ascribe a range of possible motives: Were the Russians specifically seeking to tilt the election in favor of Trump? Was the effort designed to damage Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s future ability to govern, believing that she was destined to win? Or was the operation a hedging of bets to sow confusion and undermine confidence in the process?
Of the assessment that the Republican Party systems were likely breached, the official said the picture is not entirely clear. While not dismissing the intelligence community’s conclusion, the official said a more definitive determination has not yet been reached.
Is there suspicion that Russian hackers may have tampered with votes? No. Federal officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and FBI Director James Comey, have said that the decentralized nature of voting systems across the U.S. poses a difficult target for hackers.
“In our judgment, it would be very difficult to alter a ballot count in any one place and have a significant consequence,” Johnson said in an interview last month with USA TODAY.