US intelligence split on motive for Russian election interference

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The CIA and FBI presented divergent cases to lawmakers when discussing Russia’s intervened in the U.S. election.

A secret CIA assessment uncovered by the Washington Post Friday concluded that Russia intervened in the U.S. presidential election to help Trump win the White House.

The CIA was “direct and bald and unqualified” about Russia’s intentions to help Trump,  officials who attended a House briefing told the Post.
However, an FBI official’s presentation to the House Intelligence Committee was “fuzzy” and “ambiguous,” the Post added. 

The CIA believes Russians hacked both Democratic and Republican organizations, though only documents from Democrats were leaked and published.

According to multiple reports, the FBI still hasn’t confirmed whether the RNC or other Republican groups were hacked.

The Washington Post reports the FBI is not certain that Russia’s interference in the election was a purposeful effort to alter the results.

During a meeting of the House Intelligence Committee, the CIA said it was sure of Russia’s intentions in hacking Democratic party emails, but the FBI was less certain, The Post reported.

One official told The Post that for the FBI, “there’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals.”

Maine Sen. Angus King (I), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, also told The Post that intelligence information surrounding the hacks should be made public in an effort “to see that this doesn’t happen again.”

Whether the country’s end goal was manipulating the results of the election, King said he wasn’t sure, but added that he does not believe Russia’s hacking will end with this election, but “could happen in the midterms” or “in the next presidential election.” 

Since the reports, lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties have denounced Russia’s hacks and called for a thorough investigation.

But President-elect Donald Trump said it was ridiculous to think Russia interfered to help him get elected, and blamed Democrats for looking for an excuse for their loss at the polls. 

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