A month after Donald Trump won the 2016 election, the CIA has concluded that Russia wanted to help him win the presidency.
According to a Washington Post
report on December 9, a secret assessment from the CIA found that President Vladimir Putin wasn't just trying to undermine the U.S. election, but leave his mark on it. It was the first time that the agency said Russia was specifically trying to sway the outcome of this election to a specific candidate.
The CIA gave its latest evaluation to "key senators" in a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post
reported that briefers told senators that it was now “quite clear” that Russia’s goal in leaking emails from Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Convention, and those in her campaign, was to get Trump elected. This information comes from officials who spoke to the paper on the condition of anonymity.
“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,” a senior U.S. official told the Washington Post
. “That’s the consensus view."
The New York Times
reported that the CIA based its conclusion on the Russia hacking, in part, on the fact that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee, but didn't release any information or emails. According to the paper, the agency had "high confidence" that the RNC had been hacked, despite previous reports that it hadn't.
Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, tweeted
, "The RNC was not 'hacked.' The @nytimes was told and chose to ignore. Exhibit #1 in the fake news." Trump's chief of staff, Reince Priebus, also refuted this report
on Meet The Press,
saying, the "RNC was absolutely not hacked." He claims that the FBI was called in after the DNC hack and found no evidence of hacking in the RNC's computer system.
It should be noted that the CIA presentation on Russia's influence of the election did fall short of a formal U.S. assessment, which would include all 17 intelligence agencies. It was also reported by a senior official in attendance that there were "minor disagreements" among the intelligence officials due to the fact that there are still questions that need to be answered.
For now, here is what we do know.