Why ‘Russia’ is trending on Twitter now!

Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House
The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened
in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather
than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
Intelligence
agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian
government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails
from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary
Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those
officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence
community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt
Clinton’s chances.
“It is the assessment of the
intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one
candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S.
official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators.
“That’s the consensus view.”
The Post’s Ellen Nakashima goes over the events, and discusses the two hacker groups responsible.

(Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)

The Obama administration has been debating for months
how to respond to the alleged Russian intrusions, with White House
officials concerned about escalating tensions with Moscow and being
accused of trying to boost Clinton’s campaign.
In
September, during a secret briefing for congressional leaders, Senate
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) voiced doubts about the veracity
of the intelligence, according to officials present.
The Trump
transition team dismissed the findings in a short statement issued
Friday evening. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had
weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one
of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to
move on and ‘Make America Great Again,’ ” the statement read.
Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russian hacking.
“I
don’t believe they interfered” in the election, he told Time magazine
this week. The hacking, he said, “could be Russia. And it could be
China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
The
CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door
briefing on Capitol Hill last week, in which agency officials cited a
growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Agency briefers told
the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s
goal, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of
anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.

Did Russia interfere with the 2016 election? This GOP senator thinks so

Play Video1:56
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he wants to
investigate whether Russia interfered with the 2016 U.S. election,
amongst claims that Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Russia and Vladimir Putin
is too soft.

(Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

The CIA presentation to
senators about Russia’s intentions fell short of a formal U.S.
assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies. A senior U.S.
official said there were minor disagreements among intelligence
officials about the agency’s assessment, in part because some questions
remain unanswered.
For example,
intelligence agencies do not have specific intelligence showing
officials in the Kremlin “directing” the identified individuals to pass
the Democratic emails to WikiLeaks, a second senior U.S. official said.
Those actors, according to the official, were “one step” removed from
the Russian government, rather than government employees. Moscow has in
the past used middlemen to participate in sensitive intelligence
operations so it has plausible deniability.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said in a television interview that the “Russian government is not the source.”
The White House and CIA officials declined to comment.
On
Friday, the White House said President Obama had ordered a “full
review” of Russian hacking during the election campaign, as pressure
from Congress has grown for greater public understanding of exactly what
Moscow did to influence the electoral process.
“We
may have crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to
take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to
understand what has happened and to impart some lessons learned,”
Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco,
told reporters at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.
Obama
wants the report before he leaves office Jan. 20, Monaco said. The
review will be led by James Clapper, the outgoing director of national
intelligence, officials said.
During her remarks, Monaco didn’t address the latest CIA assessment, which hasn’t been previously disclosed.
Seven Democratic senators
last week asked Obama to declassify details about the intrusions and
why officials believe that the Kremlin was behind the operation.
Officials said Friday that the senators specifically were asking the
White House to release portions of the CIA’s presentation.
This week, top Democratic lawmakers in the House also sent a letter to Obama, asking for briefings on Russian interference in the election.
U.S.
intelligence agencies have been cautious for months in characterizing
Russia’s motivations, reflecting the United States’ long-standing
struggle to collect reliable intelligence on President Vladi­mir Putin
and those closest to him.
In previous assessments, the CIA and
other intelligence agencies told the White House and congressional
leaders that they believed Moscow’s aim was to undermine confidence in
the U.S. electoral system. The assessments stopped short of saying the
goal was to help elect Trump.
On Oct. 7, the intelligence community officially accused Moscow
of seeking to interfere in the election through the hacking of
“political organizations.” Though the statement never specified which
party, it was clear that officials were referring to cyber-intrusions
into the computers of the DNC and other Democratic groups and individuals.
Some key Republican lawmakers have continued to question the quality of evidence supporting Russian involvement.
“I’ll
be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear
evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin
Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a
member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots
of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
Though
Russia has long conducted cyberspying on U.S. agencies, companies and
organizations, this presidential campaign marks the first time Moscow
has attempted through cyber-means to interfere in, if not actively
influence, the outcome of an election, the officials said.
The
reluctance of the Obama White House to respond to the alleged Russian
intrusions before Election Day upset Democrats on the Hill as well as
members of the Clinton campaign.
Within
the administration, top officials from different agencies sparred over
whether and how to respond. White House officials were concerned that
covert retaliatory measures might risk an escalation in which Russia,
with sophisticated cyber-capabilities, might have less to lose than the
United States, with its vast and vulnerable digital infrastructure.
The
White House’s reluctance to take that risk left Washington weighing
more-limited measures, including the “naming and shaming” approach of
publicly blaming Moscow.
By mid-September,
White House officials had decided it was time to take that step, but
they worried that doing so unilaterally and without bipartisan
congressional backing just weeks before the election would make Obama
vulnerable to charges that he was using intelligence for political
purposes.
Instead, officials devised a
plan to seek bipartisan support from top lawmakers and set up a secret
meeting with the Gang of 12 — a group that includes House and Senate
leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’
committees on intelligence and homeland security.
Obama
dispatched Monaco, FBI Director James B. Comey and Homeland Security
Secretary Jeh Johnson to make the pitch for a “show of solidarity and
bipartisan unity” against Russian interference in the election,
according to a senior administration official.
Specifically,
the White House wanted congressional leaders to sign off on a
bipartisan statement urging state and local officials to take federal
help in protecting their voting-registration and balloting machines from
Russian cyber-intrusions.
Though U.S.
intelligence agencies were skeptical that hackers would be able to
manipulate the election results in a systematic way, the White House
feared that Russia would attempt to do so, sowing doubt about the
fundamental mechanisms of democracy and potentially forcing a more
dangerous confrontation between Washington and Moscow.
In
a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified
information, administration officials broadly laid out the evidence U.S.
spy agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions
in at least two states and in hacking the emails of the Democratic
organizations and individuals.
And they
made a case for a united, bipartisan front in response to what one
official described as “the threat posed by unprecedented meddling by a
foreign power in our election process.”
The
Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take
the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least
two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.
According
to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying
intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider
any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act
of partisan politics.
Some of the
Republicans in the briefing also seemed opposed to the idea of going
public with such explosive allegations in the final stages of an
election, a move that they argued would only rattle public confidence
and play into Moscow’s hands.
McConnell’s
office did not respond to a request for comment. After the election,
Trump chose McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, as his nominee for
transportation secretary.
Some Clinton
supporters saw the White House’s reluctance to act without bipartisan
support as further evidence of an excessive caution in facing
adversaries.
“The lack of an administration
response on the Russian hacking cannot be attributed to Congress,” said
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House
Intelligence Committee, who was at the September meeting. “The
administration has all the tools it needs to respond. They have the
ability to impose sanctions. They have the ability to take clandestine
means. The administration has decided not to utilize them in a way that
would deter the Russians, and I think that’s a problem.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html
Iyanu Victor (BobodY) is a Student by appearance, Technology lover by heart and a Blogger by mind. He started blogging in 2015 and he has been surviving with your help. Thanks
This post was last modified on December 28, 2016

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