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Senate Intelligence Committee leaders on Wednesday backed the 2017 intelligence community report that formally accused Russia of trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election to boost then-candidate Donald Trump.
Their statements followed a final closed-door interview on the matter with top Obama administration officials. The committee, led by Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke Wednesday with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan and former National Security Agenda Director Michael Rogers (who retired earlier this year).
The article goes on to state the following:
Former FBI Director James Comey was invited but did not show up — skipping the closed-door session due to a “previously scheduled engagement,” his attorney said. Comey, who was fired last May, has been on a media blitz in recent weeks promoting his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” in which he is highly critical of now-President Trump.
Despite Comey’s absence, the committee leaders announced afterward they were able to complete the review of the intelligence community’s Russia assessment.
“Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions,” Burr said in a statement. “There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections. I look forward to completing the Committee’s inquiry and issuing our findings and recommendations to the American people.”
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BREAKING: Senate intelligence panel agrees with US intel agencies that Russia intervened in 2016 election to help Trump.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 16, 2018
Vice Chairman @MarkWarner and I released the following statements regarding today’s Senate Intelligence Committee closed hearing to complete its review of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: pic.twitter.com/AK6vgim8Ly
— Richard Burr (@SenatorBurr) May 16, 2018
CONFIRMED: After a thorough review, Senate Intel has found no evidence to dispute the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia, on orders from Putin, carried out an unprecedented election interference effort to help the Trump campaign and hurt the Clinton campaign in 2016. https://t.co/OWshLwnQA0
— Mark Warner (@MarkWarner) May 16, 2018