FBI Director James Comey privately concluded that Russia was trying to influence the upcoming U.S. election, but argued it was too close to Election Day to say so publicly, according to CNBC.
A former official told CNBC that Comey believed a foreign power was trying to undermine the election. “He believed it to be true, but was against putting it out before the election,” the official said. Comey argued that “if it is said, it shouldn’t come from the FBI, which as you’ll recall it did not,” the official added.
The announcement ended up coming from the Department of Homeland Security and The Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In a joint statement earlier this month, the agencies said: “The U.S. intelligence community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”
Last Friday, less than two weeks before Election Day, Comey announced the FBI was reviewing the case involving Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. New emails were reportedly uncovered during a separate investigation into Anthony Weiner, the former husband of senior Clinton adviser Huma Abedin.
The former official told CNBC that government insiders were confused as to why Comey argued against publicizing Russia’s alleged involvement in U.S. elections, but apparently did not have the same concerns about the Clinton email case.