FBI agrees with CIA assessment that Russia meddled in the US election to help Trump win

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Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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Thomson Reuters

The FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence are supporting a CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the US election partly to try to help President-elect Donald Trump win, according to The Washington Post and NBC News.

CIA Director John Brennan made the announcement in a message to employees, according to The Post.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI [Director] James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” Brennan said in the message.

“The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI,” he continued.

The developments add to the US intelligence community consensus that Russia deliberately meddled in the US presidential election with an intent to boost Trump.

An assessment by the CIA last week concluded that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump’s presidential bid and undermine confidence in the US electoral system, according to The Post.

Intelligence officials reportedly believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin himself was directly involved in the hacking campaign.

Internal emails from members of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, were leaked online throughout the campaign. The organization WikiLeaks released a steady stream of Podesta’s emails in the final weeks of the campaign.

Trump has been reluctant to pin blame for the hacks on Russia. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” he called the claim “ridiculous” and “just another excuse” for Clinton’s surprise loss last month.