Speaker Ryan Condemns Politicization Of Intel Reports On Russian Hacking

Russ Read | Pentagon/Foreign Policy Reporter

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan condemned the politicization of the U.S. intelligence community in a statement released Monday that signaled support for the investigation into alleged Russian hacking of the recent presidential elections.

“We must condemn and push back forcefully against any state-sponsored cyberattacks on our democratic process,” said Ryan in a statement, but he also warned against using the intelligence community to push partisan political agendas.

“At the same time, exploiting the work of our intelligence community for partisan purposes does a grave disservice to those professionals and potentially jeopardizes our national security,” said the speaker. “As we work to protect our democracy from foreign influence, we should not cast doubt on the clear and decisive outcome of this election.”

Ryan praised the work of Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, in his efforts to investigate cyber threats posed by foreign governments and actors.

“As I’ve said before, any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable,” said Ryan. “And any intervention by Russia is especially problematic because, under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests.”

Central Intelligence Agency officials stated they had “high confidence” that Russia intentionally manipulated the presidential election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump in a report earlier this month. A senior counter intelligence official from the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not concur that there was decisive proof of Russian meddling while briefing lawmakers last week.

The White House announced Friday that President Barack Obama ordered a full investigation into the Russian hacking allegations. Leaders of various relevant congressional committees also plan to lead a concurrent investigation. The Obama administration hopes to release the findings of the investigation before Trump’s inauguration. It also plans to declassify as much of the results as possible for public consumption.

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