Officials from the U.S. intelligence community have misgivings about the CIA’s assessment that a Russian hacker is behind the recent email hack that helped Donald Trump win the presidential election.
According to Reuters, officials from the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said the CIA’s assessment relies on a “thin reed” of evidence. They further maintained that officials do not dispute the CIA’s analysis that Russia is responsible for the major cyber-attack. Nonetheless, they insist that the agency does not have enough evidence to say that the hack was made to help Trump during the election.
“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” said one of the Officials who told Reuters on Monday.
“Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow,” they added.
Federal authorities claim they believe CIA’s assessment that Russia is behind the attack that had a great impact on Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign. WikiLeaks published most hacked documents, which includes Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s email exchange.
The CIA’s based their assessment on “the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans and only leaked the Democratic information,” officials said.
“It was a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” the official added.
Officials from ODNI are not the first to question the CIA’s judgment over the cyber-attack.
On Sunday, the Washington Post reported that an FBI counterintelligence official questioned the CIA’s conclusion during a briefing at the House Select Committee on Intelligence last week.
ODNI director invited for briefing
John Podesta issued a statement on Monday saying ODNI director James Clapper should provide an intelligence briefing in front of the Electoral College electors before the December 19 presidential vote.
“We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American,” wrote Podesta.
Ten electors sent a letter to the Congress, which led the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to invite Clapper to provide the briefing.