FBI And CIA Give Differing Accounts To Lawmakers On Russia’s Motives In 2016 Hacks, Really

by Pamela Williams

In a secure meeting room under the Capitol last week, lawmakers each had a copy of a secret assessment by the CIA of Russia’s alleged role in hacking the 2016 elections.  The strange dilemma they were faced with is the assessment by the CIA and the FBI were in conflict.  Yes, the CIA REPORT was positively saying the Russians hacked the election to help Donald Trump win.  In conflict was the FBI REPORT saying they could not be sure that this occurred.  This is par for the course if you ask me.  However, I am glad to see the FBI has a question surrounding this alleged report by the CIA.
The conflicting messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect  differences in methods of assessment between the FBI and the CIA. The FBI wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond a reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable with speculations based upon behavior.  The CIA is a covert operation, as the FBI is an investigative operation.  The CIA is cloak and dagger, but the FBI is upfront and demanding of evidence.  These are two different worlds…one on the homefront and one spread out all over the world. End of my commentary.



The murky nature of the assessments is maddening many lawmakers who are demanding answers about the Kremlin’s role in the presidential race. The FBI, under Director James B. Comey, is already under fire for dropping a bombshell letter days before the election on the discovery of new emails potentially related to the Clinton private server investigation. The emails proved irrelevant to the case. On Saturday, outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) called on Comey to resign, saying the FBI director deliberately kept quiet evidence about Russia’s motives before the election.
With so much of the evidence about Russia’s alleged role in the election shrouded in secrecy because of strict classification rules, Democrats and Republicans in Washington who have access to the underlying intelligence say they have struggled to make their respective cases, leaving an already deeply divided public convinced that both sides are shading their conclusions to help the candidate they backed on Election Day.
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The clamor from Democrats and some Republicans for a more fulsome accounting prompted the White House on Friday to announce that President Obama had ordered a full review of Russian cyber actions during the 2016 campaign. The president wants the report to be completed before he leaves office next month. Officials said Obama intends to declassify as much of the report as possible. Lawmakers, in turn, want the review to be accompanied by a joint congressional investigation.
Meanwhile, top Republicans on the committee have pointed to the possible ambiguity of the evidence to question the soundness of the claim that Russia acted to help Trump. “There is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the panel’s chairman. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”


Published on Dec 10, 2016

FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks

CIA briefers told senators in a closed-door briefing it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was Russia’s goal, according to officials. (Victoria Walker/The Washington Post)



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