Obama Officials Made List to Safeguard Russia Probe Documents
- Author: Larry Hoffman Apr 08, 2017,
Apr 08, 2017, 1:18
"We have high confidence that President Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election", James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, said at the time.
Rubio said it happened again, less than 24 hours ago.
After denouncing the hacks as "an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process", Rubio said that "I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats".
Thursday's hearing began after the committee's chair and vice chair, Sens. Watts told reporters that other GOP presidential campaigns had also been targeted. One question he said he wants the committee's investigation to answer is whether Russian Federation would have the ability to do that without the assistance of someone with a deep knowledge of American politics.
House Speaker Paul Ryan is maintaining support for embattled House intelligence committee Chairman Rep.
Warner's follow Democrat Senator Ron Wyden also urged the Senate to "follow the money" on Russia, adding real estate deals and money-laundering might mean the "Russian government may be only a step or two away" from American institutions.
Watts did not provide additional information about why he believes Rubio was targeted by the disinformation campaign.
"These covert, "black" operations influence target-audience opinions with regards to Russian Federation and undermine confidence in Western elected leaders, public officials, mainstream-media personalities, academic experts, and democracy itself". "Until we get a firm basis on fact and fiction in our own country ... we're going to have a big problem", Watts said.
In the hearing, Virginia Sen.
Evelyn Farkas, former deputy assistant secretary of defense and now a national security analyst for NBC News, said she had urged the Obama administration as well as lawmakers to gather and preserve intelligence about the Trump-Russia probe.
The top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee claims Russian propaganda outlets like RT and Sputnik produced and peddled disinformation to US audiences in hopes of damaging Hillary Clinton.
They also warned of the potential for Russian influence on upcoming elections in France and Germany, and said Britain's "Brexit" vote past year on leaving the European Union should also be examined. But it invited a bipartisan group from the panel to view information it says relates to surveillance of President Donald Trump's associates.
Trump's claims that the election was rigged appeared to parallel Russian propaganda, "the number one theme pushed by RT, Sputnik News. all the way up until the election". In his opening statement, Committee Chairman Sen.
Burr said that he and Warner were committed to getting to the bottom of Russian interference in the election.
Putin dismissed what he called "endless and groundless" accusations of Russian meddling in the election. Putin said the accusations were part of a USA domestic political struggle.
In addition, he said that hackers were directed to steal vast amounts of information from the Democratic Party that would negatively impact Clinton, subsequently benefiting Trump. Democrats want Nunes to recuse himself from his Russian Federation probe in the House.
At a joint news conference on Wednesday Burr was asked if the Senate panel wanted to determine if there was anything suggesting a direct link to Trump, and responded: "We know that our challenge is to answer that question for the American people".