The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has released a report concluding that Russian Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in the 2016 election with the clear goal of helping Donald Trump win.
“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the intelligence report reads. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
This is a declassified version of the intelligence report that President-elect Trump was briefed on this afternoon. The report states that the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency have all concluded that the Russian government aspired to help Trump win the election by discrediting Hillary Clinton; however, while the CIA and the FBI have “high confidence” in this conclusion, the NSA only has “moderate confidence.”
The report goes on to say that Russia gained access to U.S. state and local electoral boards. However, the types of systems the Russians accessed were not involved in vote tallying, and therefore there is no evidence to suggest that Russia actually changed vote counts on Election Day. The report also says that Russia obtained information from Republican-affiliated targets but did not disclose this as they did with information obtained from the Democratic National Committee.
The influence campaign ordered by Vladimir Putin involved blending covert intelligence with efforts lead by government-run media and paid “trolls,” the report says. It concludes that Russia plans to carry out additional influence campaigns of this kind in the future.
“We assess Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the US presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes,” the report reads.
This comes roughly one hour after President-elect Donald Trump released a statement downplaying Russia’s role in the presidential election and after months of Trump saying that anyone could have been involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee.
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” Trump said in a statement.
Kellyanne Conway, Donald Trump’s campaign manager and incoming counselor to the president, said this morning that Russia did not want Trump to be elected, a statement that contradicts the conclusion of the CIA, the FBI and the NSA.
“The Russians didn’t want him elected, because he has said very clearly during the campaign and now as President-elect that he is going to modernize our nuclear capability, he’s going to call for an increase in defense budget, he’s going to have oil and gas exploration — all which goes against Russia’s economic and military interests,” Conway told CNN.
The complete 25-page intelligence report can be read below: