The FBI has no evidence that Russia successfully hacked President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign or the Republican National Committee (RNC), Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said on Tuesday.
Testifying before Congress for the first time since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton on Nov. 8, Comey declined to answer a question about whether the FBI was investigating the possibility of links between Trump associates and Russia.
U.S. intelligence agencies on Friday released an assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an effort to help Republican Trump’s electoral chances by discrediting Clinton in the 2016 campaign.
The report, which omitted classified details, was the U.S. government’s starkest public description of what it says was an Russian campaign to manipulate the American electoral process. Russian authorities have denied interfering in the election.
“We did not develop any evidence that the Trump campaign, or the current RNC, was successfully hacked,” Comey told lawmakers.
He said there was evidence Russia hacked Republican state-level political campaigns and “old” email domains that the RNC was no longer using. While it collected some information from these hacks, Russia did not publicly release it, he said.
In contrast, Friday’s report assessed that Russian military intelligence used intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, DCLeaks.com and the Guccifer 2.0 “persona” to release emails that it had acquired from the Democratic National Committee and top Democrats as part of the effort to help Trump and harm Clinton.
(Reporting by Dustin Volz and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Alistair Bell)
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This article first appeared in Salon.
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