A file picture dated 15 June 2012 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), Krasnodar region Governor Alexander Tkachev (C) and ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson (L). Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / RIA NOVOSTI / EPA

By William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian, and Cynthia McFadden
14 December 2016

(NBC News) – U.S. intelligence officials now believe with "a high level of confidence" that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.

Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

Ultimately, the CIA has assessed, the Russian government wanted to elect Donald Trump. The FBI and other agencies don't fully endorse that view, but few officials would dispute that the Russian operation was intended to harm Clinton's candidacy by leaking embarrassing emails about Democrats.

The latest intelligence said to show Putin's involvement goes much further than the information the U.S. was relying on in October, when all 17 intelligence agencies signed onto a statement attributing the Democratic National Committee hack to Russia.

The statement said officials believed that "only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities." That was an intelligence judgment based on an understanding of the Russian system of government, which Putin controls with absolute authority. [more]

U.S. Officials: Putin Personally Involved in U.S. Election Hack


  1. mc said...

    Please don't do this and make me give up your site like I did Scribbler's. "US Officials" don't have a conclusion, just CIA types with agendas including diminishment (at best) of Russia and who are scared that Trump will hold them more accountable than any president since JFK. People without agendas who know IT are calling BS on all of this. You will only hurt your long-term credibility and audience by being a part of it all. Please rethink and do some actual research beyond the scare stories by media facing the same accountability.  

  2. Anonymous said...

    The Russian story is all bullshit. There is no evidence, just claims from "intelligence officials" and the CIA - yet not a single shred of proof has been released to verify this.

    It's a red herring.

    If it's "incontrovertible" then show the proof. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

    Our government incessantly lies about everything. Unless there is proof shown, then this is simply another lie.

    Russia has no need to interfere with the (s)Election. The anti-Russian rhetoric is stupid beyond belief. It's coming from hard-line right wing soon to be irrelevant idiots in our government. Russia is not our enemy.

    Note: read the articles carefully. It's a skewed hack attack on Putin but offers zilch in the way of evidence or proof. Every single article I have read on this story is just like this. It's another "yellow cake" bogus claim.  

  3. Anonymous said...

    Here is an example of the non-proof and refusal to cooperate by U.S. intelligence agencies:


    The whole story stinks. The CIA is sending a message. Their anti-Russian rhetoric is part of the game their playing. They're deliberately hood-winking the American people with this bullshit.

    It should be obvious already that there is nothing to this story. The Clinton's are desperate for credibility in the face of such defeat. They've got friends in the intelligence agencies. Yet the agencies are not forthcoming with any proof, it's just pure allegations and utter nonsense.  

  4. Jim said...

    I'll argue that posts about Putin are on-topic for this blog, as he is one of the most visible and powerful deniers of climate science. Appointing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State brings the U.S. government, the oil sector as represented by Rosneft/ExxonMobil, and the Russian government into alignment on climate policy: ramp up oil production as fast as possible. The Putin-Rex-Trump axis will be coming after climate science; Trump's advisors already are declaring that he will defund climate science at NASA.

    The fact remains that the DNC was hacked, and stolen documents were fed into the weaponized social media. The attack comprises a novel form of political warfare amplified by internet technology. War on The Rocks has a nice blueprint of the weapon, and after the successful field test in the U.S., it can be deployed to capture any democratic nation. Germany and France are the obvious next targets.

    Trolling for Trump: How Russia Is Trying to Destroy Our Democracy

  5. Jim said...

    As for attributing the hack, no less an authority than Bruce Schneier thinks it was Russia: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/07/russian_hack_of.html.  

  6. Anonymous said...

    If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?  

  7. Jim said...

    The obvious answer is that the White House didn't want to appear to be interfering with the election. President Obama may have thought the matter could be handled privately, and it's clear from the G20 meeting that he communicated his displeasure to Putin.


    It was reported in October that the CIA was prepared to launch a counterstrike, but it seems that Obama chose not to go to deploy. NYT did an in-depth story earlier this week, explaining:

    In a series of “deputies meetings” run by Avril Haines, the deputy national security adviser and a former deputy director of the C.I.A., several officials warned that an overreaction by the administration would play into Mr. Putin’s hands.

    “If we went to Defcon 4,” one frequent participant in Ms. Haines’s meetings said, using a phrase from the Cold War days of warnings of war, “we would be saying to the public that we didn’t have confidence in the integrity of our voting system.”


  8. Anonymous said...

    Putin's evil, diabolical plot:
    Tell Americans the truth about their government.

    Jokes aside,I too wish you'd keep away from these topics as well.
    This whole mess has enough exposure everywhere else.
    I respect your blog and your selection of topics and articles, please dont get sucked down the drain that is current politics.

    best regards,
    a fan  

  9. Anonymous said...

    Donald Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20th. Anyone who says otherwise, really needs to read the electoral college rules.


  10. Anonymous said...

    this is the last time I read this website  

  11. Jim said...

    Russian hack almost brought the U.S. military to its knees

  12. Jim said...

    Why you can't just ignore the CIA report on Russia hacking

  13. Jim said...

    FBI backs CIA view that Russia intervened to help Trump win election


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