CIA: Intelligence assessment has not changed on Russia election interference
The CIA said on Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community has not reached new conclusions on Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election, hours after the agency’s director, Mike Pompeo, said that intelligence agencies had determined that the meddling had no effect on the results.
“The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” Ryan Trapani, a CIA spokesman, told The Washington Post, “and the director did not intend to suggest that it had.”
Pompeo reportedly said during a security conference in Washington on Thursday that “the intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.”
That statement, made at the conservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies, seemed to suggest that the nation’s intelligence agencies had examined the effects of the meddling on the vote results.
In fact, the intelligence community’s January report concluding that Russia had sought to disrupt the 2016 presidential election and sway the race in President Trump’s favor is clear in pointing out that no assessment was made regarding the plot’s success.
“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” the report reads. “The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.”
Trapani told the Post that it was not Pompeo’s intention to deceive or mislead the public regarding the intelligence community’s assessment.
Trump has denied that Russian interference influenced the outcome of the presidential election, and has said that such a suggestion is merely a “fake news” excuse used by Democrats to explain away Hillary Clinton’s loss.
Pompeo acknowledged at another security conference earlier this year that Russia did meddle in the presidential race, but followed that comment up by claiming that Moscow had similarly interfered in past elections.