Vice President Biden said Thursday that there is "overwhelming evidence" Russia tried influencing the U.S. election through widespread hacking.
“There is overwhelming consensus in the [intelligence] community and overwhelming evidence supplied by the community that Russia did engage in an effort to impact the elections,” Biden said during an interview broadcast on “PBS NewsHour."
Biden said while there is no evidence Russia tried tampering with voting booths or voting rolls, "there is clear evidence they were engaged in activities designed to [have an] impact on the outcome of the election."
Biden cited a classified intelligence report that President Obama was briefed on earlier Thursday.
Obama had asked intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of Russian hacking before he leaves office later this month.
The briefing comes a day before intelligence officials are expected to brief President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 committee chair says panel will issue a 'good number' of additional subpoenas Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Pentagon officials prepare for grilling Biden nominates head of Africa CDC to lead global AIDS response MORE, who has for weeks dismissed suggestions that Russia attempted to influence the election to help him win.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers Thursday that an unclassified version of the report being prepared by the Obama administration will be released "early next week." Biden said this version would detail Russia's electoral intrusion "in bold print."
“One, [Russia] attempted to discredit the U.S. electoral process by implying or laying the foundation [that] it is not on the level,” he said.
“Two, there is evidence that there was an attempt to hurt Mrs. Clinton,” Biden added, referring to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll MORE. "But there is also evidence that there is wider hacking than some people thought."
"The idea that the Russians were not involved in an effort to be engaged in our electoral process is simply not able to be sustained — they were.”
Biden suggested that the U.S. has already begun launching covert measures against Russia in addition to retaliatory sanctions announced last week, when the Obama administration also announced it was expelling 35 Russian officials.
“Some of what we did you will know and some of what we did you will not know,” Biden said. “And we’ve done both.”
“Things you do not know and things that are known, like expelling [the 35 officials],” Biden added.
The vice president said he hopes any covert action does not become public knowledge.
Updated: 6:55 p.m.