Senate Intelligence Committee’s final report on Russian interference in 2016 sheds light on Trump…
Experts on Senate Committee Report on Intelligence Findings of Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
Head of the Senate Intelligence Committee Republican Richard Burr (Richard Burr) and Vice Chairman of the Democrat Committee Mark Warner (Mark Warner) presented a new report on the analysis of the findings of the intelligence community on Russian interference in the US elections. The report presents the Committee’s findings on the sources, methods and analytical work behind the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election. This is the fourth and penultimate committee report on this issue..
Its authors believe that American intelligence has provided comprehensive and compelling evidence of Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that all analytical findings are backed up by intelligence from various sources using appropriate methods. Interviews with participants in the preparation of the intelligence community report confirmed that no political pressure was exerted on its authors in order to reach certain conclusions..
«On Trump’s inauguration day, President Obama’s adviser Susan Rice emailed herself about a meeting she had with people reporting on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Senior intelligence officials and President Obama said at the time that there should be no political pressure on analysts to ensure that conclusions were not biased. She believed that she needed to pay attention, put something on the protocol, that Obama did not exert any political pressure, that there was no witch hunt, and that it was just an intelligence community analysis.», – says the president of the Security Studies Group Jim Hanson.
The Senate Committee notes the unequivocal intelligence finding that the scale and aggressiveness of the Russian intervention was unprecedented. Contained in the report and conclusions regarding the actions of President Trump.
«It seems to me that this is an attempt to close this issue once and for all. In the end, something that everyone already knew, but did not want to admit, and the report of the committee makes it clear – there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. If the Kremlin intervened, it did it on its own. There is no doubt that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. There is disagreement, and this was reflected in the Senate report, between the various intelligence agencies as to whether they intervened on behalf of Donald Trump or took action to create discord, weaken another candidate, and cause chaos in American society.», – noted by Jim Hanson.
According to him, the FBI and CIA have said that they are largely convinced that Russia was trying to intervene in the election campaign on the side of Donald Trump. However, the National Security Agency has expressed disagreement, at least saying they are less confident about this.», – emphasized Hanson. – «There is evidence that the FBI and CIA relied more on open source information than the Kremlin agent who told them, “you know I was sitting next to Putin when he said “yes, we want Trump because I think we can work with him”».
Alexander Crowter from Florida International University has a similar opinion.
«The problem was that President Trump did not want to admit the intervention, not because he was friends with the Russians or took part in it. – which was not. He wants everyone to understand that he won the election on his own. The importance of the Senate committee report is that we are now in a new electoral cycle. It is important to understand the existing threat and – what is Russia trying to do.
The authors of the report note that the Intelligence Community Assessment does not provide recommendations for countering future Russian interference, which was a deliberate step, since the role of the intelligence community – provide insights and warnings, not formulate policy», – expert thinks.
He adds that there is no doubt that Russia, like the Soviet Union in the past, has been active in the United States. This time, the reason was Hillary Clinton’s criticism of the 2012 Russian elections, the political scientist believes..
«Putin took this as a personal attack against him. He identifies with the Russian state. So, by criticizing the elections, you are criticizing him, you are criticizing the state. And this is simply unacceptable, in his opinion. So when the opportunity presented itself, he repaid it», – believes Alexander Crowter.
He adds that in 2016, the United States faced an attack on the American electoral system, which has not happened before..
«Moscow has repurposed old instruments for new projects. In Russia, they believe they lost the Cold War because of American information operations. They believe that color revolutions in the post-Soviet space – These are American-led information operations with the long-term goal of achieving regime change in Russia», – stressed Crowther.
According to him, the United States knows how to deal with information attacks, but the main problem lies in the people who are exposed to them..
Journalist. Graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. He has worked on Channel 1 + 1 and Channel 5, on the Voice of America since 2014, and was one of two Voice of America correspondents covering the 2018 Russian presidential elections from Moscow. He pays attention to the topic of US-Ukrainian and US-Russian relations. Actively covered the case of Paul Manafort and Maria Butina.