This morning, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Marcel Lettre, and Director of National Security Mike Rogers reported to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russian spies directed by Vladimir Putin engaged in attacks against the USA in order to help Donald Trump win the 2016 presidential election. The trio reported that, “In some cases Russian intelligence actors have masqueraded as third parties, hiding behind false online personas designed to cause the victim to misattribute the source of the attack. We assess that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized the recent election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets.”
The report crafted by Clapper, Lettre, and Rogers implies that the claims made by Julian Assange that Russia was not behind the attacks against the U.S. presidential election of 2016 may be based upon Assange’s failure to understand that he was being duped by Russian spies. “I don’t think we’ve ever encountered a more aggressive and direct campaign to interfere in our election process than in this case,” Clapper told the committee.
President Elect Donald Trump continues to deny that the Russians had anything to do with the attacks that tilted the presidential election in his favor, allowing him to attain a narrow Electoral College victory even while losing the popular vote.