NSA leaker Edward Snowden questioned the agency’s decision not to release proof of its claim that the Russian government breached the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) servers during the 2016 election, in a wide-ranging interview with Der Spiegel.
Snowden conceded that Russia “probably did hack the systems of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic Party,” but added “we should have proof of that.” He posited that the NSA did not release technical proof of the hack because multiple other actors likely also breached the DNC’s servers saying “there were probably six or seven groups,” adding that “the reality here was it was narrative shaping about the Russians.”
Senior U.S. intelligence officials, including those appointed by President Donald Trump, have stated their definitive belief that the Russian government is responsible for the hack of the DNC and subsequent release of information to Wikileaks via a third party.
The NSA also assessed with “moderate confidence” that “Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets associated with the 2016 US presidential election, including targets associated with both major US political parties,” in a January 2017 declassified report on Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Snowden currently lives as a lawful resident of Russia under the protection of President Vladimir Putin. He denies he gave Russia anything in return for his asylum and pointed to his occasional criticism of the government on twitter as evidence of his independence.
A September 2016 House Intelligence Committee report on Snowden found him to be a “a serial exaggerator and fabricator.” The report damningly said he “claimed to have obtained a high school degree equivalent when in fact he never did. He claimed to have worked for the CIA as a senior advisor, which was a gross exaggeration of his entry-level duties as a computer technician. He also doctored his performance evaluations and obtained new positions at NSA by exaggerating his resume and stealing the answers to an employment test.”
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