The intelligence community was correct in its assertion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee announced Wednesday afternoon.
GOP Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Democratic Vice Chairman Mark Warner of Virginia took slightly different lines Wednesday. Burr took a judicious stance, arguing there was “no doubt” Russia attempted to interfere with the 2016 presidential election but did not, like Warner, attribute a specific motive to their meddling.
Vice Chairman @MarkWarner and I released the following statements regarding today’s Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing to complete its review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: pic.twitter.com/AK6vgim8Ly
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) May 16, 2018
“There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with out 2016 elections,” Burr said in a joint statement with Warner Wednesday. “I look forward to completing the Committee’s inquiry and issuing our findings and recommendations to the American people.”
The Russian effort was coordinated directly from Russian President Vladimir Putin to bolster President Donald Trump’s candidacy and hurt former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s, Warner stated.
“The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” Warner said in the statement.
Republicans on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a 150-page March report that found no evidence of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
“We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” House lawmakers wrote in an overview of the report. (RELATED: House Intel Releases Russia Report)
The Senate Intelligence Committee hasn’t weighed in on the collusion claims yet. The body is expected to do that in a final report.
The committee notably released a January 2017 report that detailed Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
“We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the senators on the intelligence committee wrote in January 2017.
The senators found Russia attempted to sway the election in favor of Trump, especially after it became apparent to the Kremlin former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would likely win the election.
“We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign then focused on undermining her expected presidency,” the senators wrote.
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