Russia Meddled in Election, Senate Intelligence Committee Agrees

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Tuesday that a 2017 report by intelligence community agencies concluding the Russian government meddled in the 2016 U.S. election is “supported by the evidence.”  

“The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions,” Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said in a statement.

The 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment conducted by the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency concluded that the Russian government, under direct order from Russian President Vladimir Putin, tried to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election so that candidate Donald Trump would win over Hillary Clinton.

"Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency," the assessment said. "We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump."

Vice Chairman Mike Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, echoed those sentiments in a statement about the report.

“The Russian effort was extensive and sophisticated, and its goals were to undermine public faith in the democratic process, to hurt Secretary Clinton and to help Donald Trump,” Warner said. 

The Senate committee's agreement with the Intelligence Community Assessment conflicts with House Intelligence Committee Republicans’ assessment in March. House Republicans said that after reviewing the intelligence community's report, they found no evidence that Russia tried to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election, a position the president liked. 

"THE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS, AFTER A 14 MONTH LONG IN-DEPTH INVESTIGATION, FOUND NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION OR COORDINATION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA TO INFLUENCE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION," Trump tweeted.

The Senate report said that since the assessment was released last year, the Committee "has learned more about Russian attempts to infiltrate state election infrastructure." 

Since the election, Trump has denied, on multiple occasions, that there was Russian influence in the election, despite the intelligence community’s findings.

Just last week, Trump again said there was no election meddling done on behalf of the Russians because of Putin's continued denial.

“Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with Meddling in our Election!” he tweeted.

Trump is set to meet one-on-one with Putin at a July 16 summit in Helsinki, Finland, according to CNN. The president says he is “going to mention” Russian meddling in the U.S. election.