Office Of The Director Of National Intelligence: We're Not Sure About The CIA's Assessment On Russia

Posted: Dec 13, 2016 11:05 AM

Well, the anonymous source game continues with the Russian hacking drama. This time from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which refused to accept the Central Intelligence Agency’s assertion that Moscow intended to help Donald Trump during the 2016 election. They noted that the reason the CIA feels this way is because both the Democratic and Republican National Committees were hacked, but only the DNC’s dirty laundry was leaked to the public (via Reuters):

The overseers of the U.S. intelligence community have not embraced a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Republican President-elect Donald Trump win the 2016 election, three American officials said on Monday.

While the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) does not dispute the CIA's analysis of Russian hacking operations, it has not endorsed their assessment because of a lack of conclusive evidence that Moscow intended to boost Trump over Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, said the officials, who declined to be named.


"ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can't prove intent," said one of the three U.S. officials. "Of course they can't, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow."

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose evidentiary standards require it to make cases that can stand up in court, declined to accept the CIA's analysis - a deductive assessment of the available intelligence - for the same reason, the three officials said.


The CIA conclusion was a "judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only the Democratic information was leaked," one of the three officials said on Monday.

"(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment," the official added.

At the time of the DNC hack, outgoing DNI Director James Clapper downplayed the cyber attack, adding that this is just another aspect of the geopolitical world, and that Americans should calm down about the hacking. Incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asserted that the RNC wasn’t hacked. Regardless, all the more reason why everyone should take a step back from the accusation that Russia hacked the U.S. to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. We still don’t know. The evidence is not definitive, but there is reason to investigate these claims. We should allow Congress to conduct their probe into this matter. Nevertheless, I know that Democrats won’t be able to hold their tongues; they still can’t believe Clinton lost.