Russian election hacking 'wildly
successful' in creating discord: former U.S. lawmaker
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[May 03, 2017]
By Scott Malone
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Russia
succeeded in its goals of sowing discord in U.S. politics by meddling in
the 2016 presidential election, which will likely inspire similar future
efforts, two top former U.S. voices on intelligence said on Tuesday.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former House
Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers agreed at a panel at Harvard
University that Russia likely believed it had achieved its goals and
could attempt to repeat its performance in elections in other countries.
"Their purpose was to sew discontent and mistrust in our elections they
wanted us to be at each others' throat when it was over," Rogers said at
the panel at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "It's influencing,
I would say, legislative process today. That's wildly successful."
Congressional committees have been investigating the issue since U.S.
intelligence agencies in January concluded Russian President Vladimir
Putin had ordered hacking of Democratic political groups to sway the
election toward Republican Donald Trump. Moscow has denied any such
meddling and Trump has been dismissive of the intelligence suggesting
Clapper said that Russia had long sought to influence U.S. voter
behavior but discovered it could be far more effective at a lower cost
by using social media to spread misinformation.
"This is the most assertive, most aggressive and most directly impactful
of any engagement that they have had in our elections," Clapper said at
the event, in Cambridge, Massachusetts just outside Boston. "They have
to regard what they did as a huge success. They've been doing it in
France and they'll do it in Germany."
Russia has also denied attempting to influence France's presidential
[to top of second column]
Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper testifies to
the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on “Russia’s
intelligence activities" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January
10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Rogers maintained that he did not believe that Russia had
specifically attempted to boost Trump's chances of victory.
"They saw the same polls that we did," Rogers said. "Some notion
that the Russians knew that Trump had an opportunity to win this
thing more than U.S. public pollsters thought, I find ridiculous."
The congressional probe on whether Russia attempted to influence the
election in favor is not the only investigation into relations
between Moscow and the Trump administration. The Pentagon has also
launched an investigation into whether Michael Flynn, Trump's former
national security adviser, accepted money from foreign entities
without the required approval.
Clapper is set to testify to a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on
the matter next week.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
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