Report will include Russian motives for election hack
WASHINGTON — A final report by intelligence agencies on Russian hacking during the election will be released early next week and will include Moscow’s motives for the interference, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate on Thursday.
Clapper and two other top U.S. intelligence officials declined to provide details but in testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, they again confirmed that the Russian government was behind the operation. They also warned lawmakers that Russia would continue cyberattacks to sway public opinion.
President-elect Donald Trump was to be briefed on the undisclosed findings Friday. He has rejected the consensus among intelligence agencies that Russia intervened to assist his campaign and cause chaos in the United States. He has lobbed harsh criticism at the agencies, equating the findings with the false assessment in 2003 that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction.
“We assess that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized the recent election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets,” according to written testimony by Clapper, U.S. Cyber Command Director Adm. Mike Rogers and Marcel Lettre, undersecretary for defense intelligence.
Thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta, were released by Wikileaks in the weeks before the November election, a steady drip that some say damaged her campaign. The CIA last month said it believes that Russia intended to assist Trump’s campaign.
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