US finds link between Russia, WikiLeaks: report

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U.S. intelligence officials have identified the intermediaries Russia used to deliver stolen emails to WikiLeaks, CNN reports.

The go-betweens used by the Russians were identified in a classified report presented to President Obama on Thursday, U.S. officials familiar with the report told CNN.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denied in a Fox News interview earlier this week that Russia provided the stolen Democratic documents that the group published last year during the presidential campaign.

A senior U.S. intelligence official told NBC News on Thursday that the U.S. had specifically identified Russian sources that gave WikiLeaks material from internal accounts of the Democratic Party.

{mosads}NBC’s source also echoed reports that U.S. intelligence agencies captured communications from top Russian officials celebrating President-elect Donald Trump’s White House win in November.

“Highly classified intercepts illustrate Russian government planning and direction of a multifaceted campaign by Moscow to undermine the integrity of the American political system,” the official said of the report’s assessment.

Two top intelligence officials with direct knowledge told NBC that Thursday’s report on Russian hacking confirms cyberattacks against the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last year.

Russian efforts also targeted the White House, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department and American corporations, they said.

NBC’s sources said Russia’s hacking attempts were met with mixed results, with some succeeding and others failing.

Thursday’s report comes one day before intelligence officials are expected to brief Trump, who for weeks has denied suggestions that Russia attempted to influence the election in his favor.

Trump tweeted Thursday evening that “politics” inspired NBC’s reporting on the intelligence community’s report to Obama.

Assange, meanwhile, has vehemently denied that his organization received any of its leaks from Russian actors.

The WikiLeaks founder earlier this week accused the Obama administration of trying to undermine the incoming Trump administration.

“They’re trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House,” he told Fox News’s Sean Hannity.

“Our source is not a state party, so the answer for our interactions is no,” Assange added when pressed on whether Russia gave WikiLeaks Democratic materials over the summer.

— Updated at 8:49 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Hacking leaks national intelligence Politics Russia Wikileaks

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