The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee concurred with spy agencies' findings that Russia sought to boost now-President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, according to a bipartisan report declassified and released on Tuesday.
More than three years after American intelligence officials concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee said in a declassified report released on Tuesday that it agreed with U.S. spy agencies' assessment that Russia sought to boost now-President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
The bipartisan report found that the CIA, NSA and FBI had coherent and well-constructed grounds to conclude that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed to undercut Trump’s 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING ON JULY 16, 2018 : "I have President Putin.
He just said it's not Russia.
I will say this: I don't see any reason why it would be." Trump, who has consistently bristled at suggestions that foreign interference helped his upset victory in 2016, has sought to discredit the intelligence agencies’ findings as the politically charged work of "the deep state." Russia has denied that it was behind any efforts to meddle in U.S. elections.
The committee’s chairman, Republican Senator Richard Burr, said that one of the intelligence community's "most important conclusions was that Russia’s aggressive interference efforts should be considered 'the new normal.'" Senator Kamala Harris, who sits on the panel, said in a tweet on Tuesday: "The facts are indisputable... We must do everything in our power to protect our elections—now." The report comes as Trump seeks re-election, looking ahead to a November match-up in which he is set to face presumptive Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden.