News Worms
News Worms

Obama aides left a trail of intelligence about possible Russian election hack

White House officials took efforts in the closing days of the Obama administration to analyze and spread information about Russian election interference, driven by a concern that the material might get buried by President Trump, according to a report.

And now comes news that, at the request of the White House, he spoke to reporters in an apparent effort to tamp down stories about alleged contacts between President Trump's campaign and Russian intelligence operatives.

CNN reports that high-level advisers close to then-nominee Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to United States intelligence, according to multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials.

Warner further requested Coats promise to "fully and completely cooperate" with the committee's investigation into Kremlin-orchestrated hacking and attempted interference in the US election, including providing "all requested intelligence community cables, intelligence products and other materials to the committee as promptly as possible". Federal investigators have been looking into possible contacts between Trump advisers and Russian Federation, while congressional committees are investigating Russia's role in political hacking during the campaign.

Striking a significantly more hawkish tone toward Russian Federation than Trump has, Coats said Russian Federation has carried out similar operations elsewhere, including in Europe, and seems to have "stepped up their game".

The officials' goals, they said, were to leave a trail of intelligence for future investigators and to prevent another meddling attempt in a United States or European election. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, just before the election. Obama ordered the intelligence community investigate the full scope of Russia's campaign in December.

"Does anyone really think that Russia could influence the American people's choice in any way?" announced the Russian President.

American spies had also intercepted Russian communications in which officials, including some with the Kremlin, discussed contacts with the Trump team, the Times reported.

The House Intelligence panel's investigation will occur alongside a separate ongoing probe by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

On Monday, Nunes made clear that the investigation would have a clear focus on leaks from the intelligence community that lead to former-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's resignation. The information they smuggled out before the ash rained down shows that the connections between the Trump team and Russian Federation were even more numerous than expected.

Gingrich said Trump should "take a lesson from the past" by appointing a "very smart, independent person" to investigate.

The January 28 executive order shocked some in the broader USA intelligence community for sidelining both the DNI and the chairman of the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, both previously members of the core team of presidential advisors.

Senator Angus King described Coats as affable, cautioning that he would have to be "crusty and mean" and asking him to be "hard" in reporting to a president who may not always want to hear what he has to say.


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