Panel calls intel assessment on Russia meddling 'sound'

Backing Intelligence Agencies, U.S. Senate Panel Says Russia Interfered in 2016 Election to Help Trump Win

Senate Intel Report on 2016 Meddling Backs Up Intel Community Findings: Russia Had Preference for Trump

The following day, however, he told reporters that he planned to raise the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin when they meet on July 16 in Helsinki.

Tuesday's report flies in the face of a flurry of attacks from Trump and his allies.

'In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA (intelligence community assessment), the committee heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to reach any conclusions, ' the committee said.

The Senate Intelligence Committee report is also a rebuke of an earlier report issued by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee - a committee run by close Trump associate Devin Nunes - that the intelligence community had made serious mistakes in its investigation of the 2016 election, according to a CNN Wire report.

Authored by the CIA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Security Agency, the report did not conclude whether the Kremlin had a clear preference for Trump or his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

The intelligence community assessment, or ICA, relied on public Russian leadership commentary and state media reports as well as "a body of intelligence reporting to support the assessment that Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for Trump", the committee found.

The Senate intelligence committee said Tuesday that it perused thousands of pages of documents and conducted interviews with relevant parties that helped the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency compile their January 2017 review about Russian meddling.

Mr. Trump has been a frequent critic of the work of the intelligence community in general and of some of the ICA's core findings in particular.

The assertion followed the White House National Security Adviser John Bolton's reassurance on Sunday that Trump would address election meddling during his summit in two weeks with Putin.

The panel's conclusion on this finding is likely to infuriate Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the intelligence community's assessment that Russian Federation sought to tilt the election in his favor.

The lawsuit was filed past year by two major DNC donors - Roy Cockrum and Eric Schoenberg - and former DNC staffer Scott Comer, who accused Trump and his former adviser, Roger Stone, of engaging in a conspiracy with unidentified Russian agents and WikiLeaks to publish hacked emails in July 2016.

It also noted that the so-called Steele dossier, which the president and some Republican critics say wrongly prompted or informed an investigation into Trump's campaign, "did not in any way inform the analysis in the ICA. because it was unverified information". Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort also stands charged with over 20 counts but has pleaded not guilty.

Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation made their assessment with "high" confidence, while the NSA's was only "moderate".

The Senate Intelligence Committee investigated the discrepancy, and said in Tuesday's report that the disagreement was "reasonable, transparent, and openly debated", and that it is likely the result of "analytic differences" between the agencies.

House Republicans have contended the Russian Federation investigation went awry well before Mueller's appointment because it depended on an anti-Trump dossier gathered by former British spy Christopher Steele and financed by Democrats and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

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