Votes were swayed by Russian influence operation

By Raphael Satter

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former CIA Director John Brennan mentioned on Wednesday that a minimum of some American voters have been swayed on account of Russia’s 2016 election interference operation, an announcement that went additional than the official assessments of U.S. intelligence businesses and lawmakers.

Talking alongside different former intelligence figures on the Nationwide Press Membership in Washington, Brennan mentioned he was “positive, personally, that these Russian efforts modified the thoughts of a minimum of one voter.”

“Whether or not it was one voter or one million voters, I don’t know,” he added. 

Brennan, who led the CIA from 2013 to 2017 throughout Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, mentioned he was talking on his personal behalf, noting that the influence on the vote was one thing the CIA “didn’t assess.”

However he mentioned there was no query there was some impact – probably affecting the ultimate outcome itself, which introduced Republican Donald Trump to the presidency.    

“What number of, through which states, I don’t know. Whether or not it modified the result, I don’t know,” Brennan mentioned.    

Brennan has been a pointy critic of Trump. Final yr, the president revoked Brennan’s safety clearance for making what he referred to as “unfounded and outrageous allegations” about his administration.

Brennan’s feedback on Wednesday contrasted with conclusions printed after a sequence of official investigations into the hacking, leaks and social media affect marketing campaign carried out by Russian hackers within the run-up to the 2016 presidential contest. Moscow has denied interfering within the election.

U.S. officers have typically been cautious to not make any public judgment on whether or not voters had their minds modified by Russian actions. Final yr, lawmakers mentioned in a report there was “no proof of modified votes,” though they have been referring to voting machines and digital tallies.

(Reporting by Raphael Satter; Enhancing by Peter Cooney)

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