WASHINGTON: The CIA and FBI have both concluded that Russia intervened in the US presidential election aiming to help Donald Trump win, The Washington Post reported Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Amid a partisan political debate that the two key US agencies were split over Russian intentions, the Post said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had reached the same conclusion as the Central Intelligence Agency—that Moscow hoped to damage the White House prospects of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Also in accord was Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
The Post said that was made clear in a message CIA Director John Brennan had sent to the US spy agency’s staff.
“Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI (Director) 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,” Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, the Post reported, citing US officials who saw 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.”
Under pressure from Congress and the political parties to show proof of the agencies’ conclusions, last week Obama ordered a review of election-related cyberattacks to be completed before he leaves office on January 20.
“We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections and this report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz.
“We are going to make public as much as we can…. This is a major priority for the president.”