Within hours of an announcement that the Obama administration would convene a full, but secret, investigation into rumors about Russian attempts to influence the U.S. Presidential election, an anonymous source told the Washington Post on Friday that the CIA has already concluded the Russian government intervened in the U.S. election to get Donald Trump elected.
The anonymous source told the Washington Post, “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. That's the consensus view."
The leak is the latest in a string of unsubstantiated rumors of Russian attempts to influence the U.S. election since Wikileaks released a cache of embarrassing emails from the Democratic National Committee as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta.
The source offered no proof but claimed that CIA had shared “a growing body of evidence from multiple sources” with a group of U.S. Senators in a secret meeting last week. The Post claims that the CIA has “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided Wikileaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.”
Rumours of Russian attempts to influence the outcome of the U.S. election started immediately after Wikileaks released a series of emails damaging to then Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The emails offered extensive proof of DNC attempts to sabotage Senator Bernie Sander’s campaign to win the Democratic primary, as well as excerpts of speeches Clinton gave to her Wall Street backers which she and her campaign had refused to release.
Despite Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s denials that the emails came from the Russian government, Clinton campaign surrogates continued to push the rumor, without any evidence, that Russia was behind the release.
On Friday afternoon, Lisa Monaco, an adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, said that the Obama administration had ordered a “full review” of the rumors of Russian interference to be completed before Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017. Monaco said that the review would be a “deep dive” by all intelligence agencies into the rumors, but suggested that the results might be kept secret. Within hours of her public announcement, the Washington Post published their story about CIA “conclusions.”
In response to the story, President-elect Trump’s transition team issued a statement on the CIA report saying, “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”