Intelligence community split on Russia’s alleged involvement in election hacks

President George W Bush visits CIA Headquarters, March 20, 2001.


Blog post by Patrick Pickett

The political split in the United States following the 2016 election and its aftermath is getting more intense after CIA officials claimed on Friday, December 9, that the Russian government interfered in the contest to help President-elect Donald Trump win on November 8.

According to the Washington Post, the CIA and FBI are split on their own accounts of what happened with the alleged Russian hacks during the election cycle. While the CIA believes that both campaigns were hacked (and only Democratic Party information was actually leaked) the FBI is unsure of the details regarding what the hackers targeted, their motives, and whether what was revealed ultimately altered the election results.

“There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals, said an unnamed intelligence official in an interview with the Post.

Senator Angus King of Maine, who is also part of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the Post that the information regarding the elections hacks should be released to the public “to see that this doesn’t happen again.” King added that this sort of thing might not stop at this year’s election, but could continue into the 2018 midterm elections, as well as the 2020 Presidential race.

Following the reports, members of both political parties have denounced the hacks, and called for a thorough investigation. Meanwhile, Donald Trump himself has vigorously denied the claims that Russia meddled in the election calling the accusations ridiculous, and blamed Democrats for looking an excuse as to why they lost at the polls.

President Barack Obama has since called for a full report on Russian cyber activities to be completed before he leaves office in January, while lawmakers want the review to accompanied by a congressional investigation.

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