WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — U.S. officials believe Russia not only tried to influence this year’s presidential election, but also favored President-elect Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, intelligence sources confirmed to CBS News Friday evening.
Intelligence officials have been building toward the conclusion for some time, CBS News reported.
The Trump transition team dismissed the claims.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,’ the transition team said in a statement. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
President Barack Obama on Friday ordered intelligence officials to conduct a broad review on election-season hacking.
White House counterterrorism and Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco said Obama ordered officials to report on the hacking of Democratic officials’ email accounts and Russia’s involvement. The report is due to be submitted to the president before he leaves office next month.
Monaco did not say if the report would be made public.
U.S. intelligence officials accused Russia of being behind the breaches as part of an effort to interfere with the presidential campaign. In the months leading up to the election, email accounts of Democratic party officials and a Hillary Clinton campaign aide were breached, emails leaked to Wikileaks and embarrassing and private emails posted online. Many Democrats believe the hackings benefited Republican Donald Trump’s bid. During the campaign, Trump downplayed the possibility that Russia was involved.
Since Trump’s victory, Democratic lawmakers on the Senate intelligence committee have been pushing Obama to declassify more information about Russia’s role.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said he welcomed Obama’s call for a review.
“Given President-elect Trump’s disturbing refusal to listen to our intelligence community and accept that the hacking was orchestrated by the Kremlin, there is an added urgency to the need for a thorough review before President Obama leaves office next month,” Schiff, D-Calif., said in a statement. If the administration doesn’t respond “forcefully” to such actions, “we can expect to see a lot more of this in the near future,” he said.
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)