U.S. Intelligence Heads To Brief Congress About Russian Role In Cyber Attacks

U.S. Congress will receive a briefing today from U.S. intelligence heads about Russia’s role in the cyber hacking attack during the 2016 election season that many Democrats and Republicans have already concluded was an attack on U.S. democracy.

The cyber attacks were aimed at e-mails from the Democratic National Committee and other political officials, including Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta.

The hacked e-mails were released on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and proved to be an embarrassing distraction for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton near the end of the U.S. election season.

On December 29th the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement with the FBI, DHS, and ODNI about malicious Russian Cyber activity that concluded the cyber attacks by Russian intelligence services was part of a decade-long campaign directed at the U.S. Government and its citizens that exploited networks and infrastructure associated with the recent U.S. election in addition to a range of U.S. government, political, and private sector entities.

The statement also claimed Russians have used similar cyber hacking tactics across Europe and Eurasia to influence public opinion there.

Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper will speak today before the Senate Armed Services Committee which is chaired by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) who recently issued a joint statement with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) on December 29th in support of the Obama Administration’s new announcement of new sanctions against Russia for its cyberattacks on the 2016 election that included the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats and sanctions on Russian intelligence groups.

“The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama Administration today are long overdue. But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy. We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia” Senator McCain and Senator Graham wrote on December 29th.

President elect Donald Trump will be briefed on Friday from U.S. intelligence heads about Russian hacking during the U.S. election season.

On January 3rd Trump tweeted that it was “very strange” that his briefing by U.S. intelligence officials was delayed until Friday and speculated that perhaps they had needed more time to “build a case.”

Trump has been reluctant to accept the conclusions from 17 U.S. intelligence agencies that have claimed the Russian government played a direct role in the cyber hacking attacks during the U.S. election.

On December 3rd Fox News aired an interview between Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, and Fox News Host Sean Hannity in which Assange denied that the leaked e-mails from the Democratic National Committee were provided by Russian actors.

Assange claimed that a 14 yr. old could have hacked John Podesta and questioned why the Democratic National Committee was so careless.

Trump repeated Assange’s statements in a January 4th tweet:

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Johnathan Schweitzer




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