The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Wednesday they agreed with intelligence agencies’ assessment that Moscow sought to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election to boost Donald Trump’s prospects of becoming president.
“There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections,” the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr, said in a joint statement with the committee’s top Democrat after a closed hearing on the issue.
“After a thorough review, our staff concluded that the (intelligence community) conclusions were accurate and on point,” Senator Mark Warner said.
“The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by President (Vladimir) Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton,” Warner said.
Their backing of intelligence agencies’ findings contrasted with the assertion weeks earlier by House of Representatives Republicans that Russia had not sought to boost then-Republican candidate Trump, who went on to win the election.
The allegations, and multiple investigations into the matter, have shadowed the first 16 months of Trump’s presidency.
Russia has denied seeking to interfere in the election and Trump has disputed suggestions that Moscow was working on his behalf.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers testified at the hearing. Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by Trump, was invited but did not appear.
Senate Intelligence undertook one of three main congressional probes of Russia and the 2016 election, along with the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Department of Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller is also looking into the matter.
Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House panel, said he agreed with the Senate panel’s conclusion.
Over the objections of Democrats, Republicans who control a majority on the House committee announced in March that the panel had concluded its work and found that Russia did not aim to assist Trump.
Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot
How Michael Bloomberg made life worse for the poor in New York
Death catches us the way we live.
So it was last week in a lower Manhattan subway station that serves the financial district when Shamari Anderson, a homeless 2-year old boy, was struck and killed by an uptown 2 train during the evening holiday rush.
This article first appeared on Salon
According to press accounts, his 20-year-old mother was juggling bags from the Dollar Store when she put her son down to fix his clothes. In an instant, the high energy toddler escaped her grasp and was struck by the subway.
New Jersey Republicans not interested in party-jumping Jeff Van Drew as their candidate in 2020: report
According to a report in Politico, Democratic lawmaker Rep. Jeff Van Drew (NJ) is not being welcomed with open arms by Republicans in his district after word got out that he is planning on switching parties following lobbying from President Donald Trump.
With polling in his district showing he was facing an uphill climb for re-election the Democrat, who is considered fairly conservative and has opposed the impeachment of Trump, is expected to announce the switch soon with reports stating he has already informed his staffers of the imminent move.
WATCH: Town hall crowd explodes into applause as New Jersey lawmaker announces he will vote for Trump impeachment
On Sunday morning CNN aired a clip of Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) announcing before a town hall crowd on Saturday that he will vote for the impeachment of Donald Trump -- causing some of the audience members to explode into applause over his decision.
In the clip, the lawmaker explains, "Based on the evidence I have seen in the depositions, the hearings and the documents I've seen, I believe on the two counts of impeachment that the vote that has been put before us, that the vote should be yes, and I will be voting yes."
With that, the crowd burst into cheers with some leaping from their seats.