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CIA Says Russia Intervened To Help Trump Win White House: Washington Post






By Reuters

December 11, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Reuters" - The CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

Citing U.S. officials briefed on the matter, the Post said intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.

The officials described the individuals as people known to the intelligence community who were part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and reduce Clinton's chances of winning the election.

"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," the Post quoted a senior U.S. official as saying. "That's the consensus view."

The Post said the official had been briefed on an intelligence presentation made by the Central Intelligence Agency to key U.S. senators behind closed-doors last week.

The CIA, in what the Post said was a secret assessment, cited a growing body of evidence from multiple sources. Briefers told the senators it was now "quite clear" that electing Trump was Russia's goal, the Post quoted officials as saying on condition of anonymity.

In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election.

President Barack Obama has said he warned Russian President Vladimir Putin about consequences for the attacks. But Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election.

A CIA spokeswoman said the agency had no comment on the report.

Trump has said he is not convinced Russia was behind the cyber attacks. His transition team issued a statement on "claims of foreign interference in U.S. elections" on Friday but did not directly address the issue.

The hacked emails passed to WikiLeaks were a regular source of embarrassment to the Clinton campaign during the race for the presidency.

The CIA presentation fell short of a formal U.S. assessment by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, the Post said. A senior U.S. official said there remained minor disagreements among intelligence officials about the assessment because some questions are unanswered, it said.

Intelligence agencies did not have specific intelligence showing the Kremlin directed the individuals to pass the hacked emails to WikiLeaks, another senior official told the Post. The actors were "one step" removed from the Russian government rather than government employees, the official said.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said in a television interview that the Russian government was not the source of the emails, the Post said.

(Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tom Brown, Robert Birsel)

Donald Trump says CIA charge Russia influenced election is 'ridiculous' 

Guardian staff and agencies

December 11, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "The Guardian" - Donald Trump has said the CIA’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the presidential election is “ridiculous” and being used by Democrats as “just another excuse” for his defeat of Hillary Clinton.

The president-elect told Fox News Sunday that he did not necessarily oppose Barack Obama’s order for a review of campaign-season cyber-attacks.

But he added that in any such effort, “you should not just say ‘Russia’. You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.”

The Obama administration has said the review is not just about Russia or the election. The White House says the report will look at other election-year incidents, including 2008 and 2012 cyber-attacks linked to Chinese hackers.

Trump has long said the culprit for such attacks could be China or just a hacker sitting on a couch. The CIA has concluded with “high confidence” that Russia sought to influence the US election on behalf of the Republican.

The Republican president-elect also questioned whether the CIA was behind the reports that indicated Moscow wanted him in the White House. “I think the Democrats are putting it out,” he said.

Two leading Republican voices on foreign policy in the Senate, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, joined two Democratic senators on Sunday in expressing concern over the reports on Russian interference and saying it could not become a partisan issue.

“For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyber attacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property,” the senators, including Democrats Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed, said in a statement.

“Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.”

US intelligence agencies have told Congress and the Obama administration Russia has grown increasingly aggressive in Syria and Ukraine and has stepped up activities in cyberspace.

“This cannot become a partisan issue,” the senators said. “The stakes are too high for our country.”

Trump’s chief of staff, however, said it was “insane” to suggest that Russian hacking influenced the outcome of the election and added that the Russians “didn’t tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan”.

Reince Priebus told ABC’s This Week that Clinton “ignored states that she shouldn’t have, and Donald Trump was the change agent … Donald Trump won in an electoral landslide that had nothing to do with the Russians.”

McCain and Graham are among those senators who will likely play key roles in any confirmation hearing for Rex Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil chief executive who was said by Trump aides speaking anonymously on Saturday to be the most likely pick for secretary of state.

Tillerson is close to Russian president Vladimir Putin, who gave him Russia’s highest award in 2013, has done extensive business in Russia, and has spoken out against sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine.

Praising Tillerson in his interview with Fox News Sunday, Trump said: “To me a great advantage is that he knows many of the players in the world and he knows them well.”

He added: “He does massive deals in Russia not for himself, but for the company.”

Speaking to CNN on Saturday, McCain said: “I have obviously concerns about his relationship withVladimir Putin, who is a thug and a murderer, but obviously we will have hearings on that issue and other issues concerning him will be examined and then it’s the time to make up your mind on whether to vote yes or no.”

“The fact that he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin and other across the globe is not something we should be embarrassed by,” said Priebus on ABC. “I think it would be an advantage for the United States.”

Priebus said that although the final choice had not been made, he had no concern about a confirmation for Tillerson, who he said was “incredibly talented and would do an incredible job as secretary of state”.

The Kentucky senator Rand Paul, a member of the Senate foreign relations committee, told ABC he had an open mind on Tillerson but flatly rejected the prospect of Bush administration United Nations ambassador John Bolton serving as an undersecretary at the state department, as has been reported.

Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, was “an automatic no”, Paul said, who “should get nowhere near the state department”.

Later on Sunday morning, Trump tweeted: “Whether I choose him or not for “State”- Rex Tillerson, the Chairman & CEO of ExxonMobil, is a world class player and dealmaker. Stay tuned!”
FULL Interview: Donald Trump at FOX News Sunday (Special) | Dec 11, 2016 | Russian Hacking



http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46009.htm

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