Essay: FBI and CIA agree that Russia hacked to help Trump win
James B. Comey the Director of the CIA and the director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. are of the opinion with a CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election for helping Donald Trump win the presidential election. President Obama gave an open warning to Moscow that it could face retaliation. Russia has repudiated being behind the cyber- incursions, which targeted the Democratic National Committee including the secretive emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Chairman John Podesta. has repeatedly said he doubts the reliability of US intelligence blaming Putin for the hacks. New disclosures about Mr. Comey’s position might appease recommendations by some lawmakers that the CIA and the FBI weren’t on the same page on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s purposes.
At a recent event with her top campaign donors and fundraisers, Clinton said she assumed Russian-backed hackers disrupted her campaign because of personal resentment that Putin harbored against her. Putin had blamed Clinton for provoking massive demonstrations in Russia after the dubious 2011 parliamentary elections that challenged his rule. Putin said Clinton, then secretary of state, informed demonstrators that the elections were rigged. Officials close to the FBI and the CIA now say that lawmakers had misunderstood Comey’s position. “The truth is they were never all that different in the first place,” an official said. Similarly, officials said, Clapper and Brennan saw the intelligence the same way.
The CIA and the FBI made no comment on Brennan’s missive or on the confidential intelligence and the appraisal that CIA officials shared with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, setting off a political firestorm. The positions of Mr. Comey and Mr. Clapper were revealed in a message that CIA Director John Brennan sent to the agency’s workforce. CIA and FBI officials think that Russia had several reasons for interfering in the presidential campaign. Besides, another reason for helping to elect Mr. Trump was Mr. Putin intentions to weaken confidence in the US electoral system, intelligence officials have told lawmakers.
A few days after the Senate briefing, a senior FBI counterintelligence official briefed the House Intelligence Committee but was not as categorical as the CIA briefer about Russia’s intention to help Mr. Trump, according to officials who were present. The FBI official’s more cautious presentation of the intelligence to the House panel left some Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the room with the impression that the FBI disagreed with the CIA. The CIA and the FBI did not make any statements on Brennan’s message or on the confidential information estimation that CIA officials apportioned with members of the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month, setting off an intense political disturbance. In the Senate briefing that was not open to the public or media, CIA officials said it was now evident that selecting Trump was one of Russia’s objectives