US intelligence’s findings holding Russian President Vladimir Putin directly responsible for a cyber campaign that ensured Republican Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election betrays Washington’s weakness as much as Moscow’s deceit.
After initially discounting Russia’s manipulation, President-elect Trump accepted the findings and spoke of possible action in response, his incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus said on January 8. Priebus, however, did not clarify the line of response contemplated or whether Trump agreed specifically on Putin’s role in this regard.
In the 20-page declassified version of its report:
Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections, released on January 6, the US Intelligence Community – comprising the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and National Security Agency (NSA) – details how Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 US presidential election. The report discloses Putin and his government’s “clear preference” for Trump that motivated the denigration of his Democrat rival, Secretary Hillary Clinton, and ultimately harmed her electability and potential presidency.
The most alarming assessment, however, concerned “Russia’s goals” to undermine public faith in the US democratic process. The report cited Moscow’s cyber onslaught as not only the most recent expression of its longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but also demonstrative of “a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations”…Click HERE to read full article.