U.S. intelligence officials from both the FBI and CIA are doubling down on allegations that Russia meddled with the recent presidential election. At the end of last week, the bombshell news dropped that the CIA and several other intelligence agencies' investigations had concurred that Russia had significantly hacked or otherwise meddled in November's election with the express purpose of helping propel Donald Trump to the White House.Last Friday, President Barack Obama's administration announced that the POTUS had demanded a full investigation of the situation and review of Russia regarding the U.S. general elections going back to 2008. At the time, the CIA was reportedly standing behind the intelligence reports involving Russia and the election, while the FBI was reserving judgement.
When the news broke that Obama was demanding a comprehensive investigation into the alleged Russia-backed hacking of the election, it was also announced that the president wanted a report on the situation before he leaves office in January.As the Washington Post reports, the CIA and FBI now reportedly concur that Russia meddled with the U.S. election, a consensus that took just a week to reach. According to the report, National Intelligence Director James Clapper and embattled FBI Director James Comey now believe that Russia played a nefarious role in the 2016 presidential election.
Reportedly, the goal of that election interference was, at least in part, to put Donald Trump in the White House, claim U.S. intelligence officials close to the situation.
Just days ago, it was publicly announced that the CIA and FBI were in disagreement regarding the involvement of Russia in election. At the very least, it was alluded that the FBI was not as sure about the intelligence community's decision as the CIA claimed to be.Reportedly, the news of the new FBI CIA Russia election hacking agreement was first broken in a message sent out to members of the CIA by CIA Director John Brennan. In that message, Director Brennan underscores intelligence cooperation with outgoing POTUS Barack Obama.
"Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI 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. 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."While rumors of Russia intervening in the U.S. election process have been swirling for months (Hillary Clinton publicly called out Donald Trump on the subject in the third presidential debate in October), the story really blew up last week. That's when the details of a closed-door meeting that had taken place on Capitol Hill the week before was made public.
"Will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past?"It has been reported that, during that meeting, the CIA briefed select U.S. senators, advising them that it was "quite clear" that Russia had meddled in the election and that helping Trump win had been at least one goal of the interference.
According to both the FBI and CIA, Russia was aiming for bigger things than simply propelling Trump to victory. One other goal behind the decision of Russia to allegedly hack the U.S. election was to "undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system," say spokespersons from both the FBI and CIA.In the midst of the bombshell reports that Russia had hacked the election and the U.S. intelligence community knew it, there were also reports that the CIA and FBI may be at odds with one another on the subject. Now, it is being reported that the diverse intelligence agencies were never in disagreement at all, according to sources close to the investigation into Russia and the election.
"The truth is they were never all that different in the first place."While it now appears that President Barack Obama, the FBI, and CIA are in agreement that the election was hacked by Russia for the purpose of helping Donald Trump win, at least one person is completely dismissing such claims: President-elect Trump.
Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to disparage the CIA, FBI, and U.S. intelligence communities in general, following the news that Russia may have helped him to a White House victory.The Trump transition team has even gone so far as to call the talk of Russia hacking the election "continued efforts to try to de-legitimize the election," reports USA Today.However, the Obama administration, media organizations, and intelligence community (including the CIA and now FBI) appear to agree that the Russia election hacking did happen. Not only that, but the CIA and FBI have alleged that the Russia election meddling has been going on for months and is still going on to this day.
[Featured Image by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Images]