- The Washington Times - Friday, December 16, 2016

The FBI and the Director of National Intelligence agree with a CIA assessment that Russian cyber attacks on the U.S. election were intended in part to help President-elect Donald Trump win office, according to news reports.

Citing U.S. officials’ accounting of a staff memo sent by CIA Director John Brennan to his employees, The Washington Post reported Friday that both FBI Director James Comey and DNI James Clapper supported the CIA’s analysis of Russia’s hacking efforts.

“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI 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,” Mr. Brennan wrote, according to the Post. “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.”

NBC News also confirmed the Post’s report.

Reports from earlier this week indicated that the ODNI had not endorsed the assessment that the Russian’s got involved to help Mr. Trump win the election.

President Obama on Friday reaffirmed his belief Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. But during his last press conference of the year, the president declined to speculate on the motive of the Russian hackers saying he wanted to give intelligence agencies a chance to finish a report on the cyber attacks before drawing conclusions.

“When the report comes out before I leave office, that will have drawn together all of the threads,” Mr. Obama said. “I don’t want to step on their work ahead of time.”

Mr. Obama last week ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to complete a full review of all cyberattacks that targeted the American presidential election process since 2008. The report, which will establish a public record of attempts to meddle in the democratic process, is expected to be completed before Mr. Obama leaves office Jan. 20.

Mr. Trump has fiercely disputed the assessment that Russia interfered in the presidential election.

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