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Senate Intel agrees with assessment that Russian Federation meddled to help Trump

06 July 2018
Senate Intel agrees with assessment that Russian Federation meddled to help Trump

And it also says Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the influence effort.

Tuesday's report flies in the face of a flurry of attacks from Trump and his allies.

The Committee finds that the overall judgments issued in the ICA were well-supported and the tradecraft was strong.

The Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation is still ongoing, so more findings are to come. Burr, R-N.C., the panel's chairman.

The Senate report diverges from an earlier one released in March by House Intelligence Committee Republicans, who said officials were mistaken to conclude that Moscow wanted Trump to win.

The panel made a decision to release its latest update, reaffirming the process by which the intelligence community developed its assessment, less than two weeks before Trump and Putin are scheduled to hold a summit in Helsinki.

The Republican-run Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday repudiated President Donald Trump's denials that Russian Federation interfered to help his 2016 campaign.

The report endorses the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment, or ICA, finding Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 with the goals of undermining Americans' faith in the democratic process and denigrating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

As numerous intelligence and national security officials in the Trump administration have since unanimously re-affirmed, the ICA findings were accurate and on point.

The conclusion has been affirmed by Trump's entire national security team, but the President himself has repeatedly refused to state that Russian Federation was meddling to help him. The committee is also expected to issue findings on how Russian Federation manipulated social media to influence American voters and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the election.

The lawsuit was filed a year ago by two major DNC donors - Roy Cockrum and Eric Schoenberg - and former DNC staffer Scott Comer, who accused Trump and his former adviser, Roger Stone, of engaging in a conspiracy with unidentified Russian agents and WikiLeaks to publish hacked emails in July 2016. Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, has also been charged with over 20 counts; he has pleaded not guilty. Mueller is thought to be investigating whether Trump has tried to obstruct his investigation.

The congressional investigations have overlapped in part with the criminal probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It also supports the agencies' findings about Russia's tactics, which included cyberattacks and intelligence collection "against the USA primary campaigns, think tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future US policies". Instead, it said, "the analytical disagreement was reasonable, transparent, and openly debated among the agencies and analysts, with analysts, managers, and agency heads on both sides of the confidence level articulately justifying their positions".

The ICA originally stoked some controversy on the right when it said the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation had "high confidence" in its findings while the NSA had "moderate confidence".

House Republicans have contended the Russian Federation investigation went awry well before Mueller's appointment because it depended on an anti-Trump dossier gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by Democrats and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

But the committee said that based on its interviews with witnesses, "the dossier did not in any way inform the analysis in the ICA - including the key findings - because it was unverified information".