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
At least 30 people have been arrested on suspicion of mass shooting plots since El Paso and Dayton: report
On Thursday, CNN's Rosa Flores reported that more than 30 people have been arrested on suspicion of planning mass shootings since the massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The suspects are all over the country, and range from high school students to white nationalists.
"A 37-year-old California man arrested today after allegedly planning to shoot employees and guests at a Marriott hotel where he worked," said Flores. "A 15-year-old arrested in Florida accused of threatening to commit mass murder at his high school ... And a self-described white nationalist pleading not guilty to charges of online harassment and aggravated menacing after allegedly threatening to carry out a shooting at a Youngstown, Ohio Jewish community center."
‘Our president is deeply mentally ill’: Biographer says ‘blowhard’ Trump truly believes his narcissistic babbling
On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Trump biographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning financial journalist David Cay Johnston told anchor Kate Bolduan that President Donald Trump's self-congratulatory rant was indicative of mental illness.
"David, you've studied Trump for years. You've also called him a 'world-class narcissist,'" said Bolduan. "How does that play into everything that we're hearing from the president today, from 'I'm the chosen one' to 'I'm the second coming of God' to declaring the Danish leader can't talk like that against the president of the United States?"
"Kate, Donald really does believe that he is superior to the rest of us," said Johnston. "He has himself talked about how the Trumps believe they are genetically superior to the rest of us. Notice how he calls everybody who in any way doesn't bow down to him an idiot, a fool, they don't know what they're doing."
‘We’re looking at that very seriously’: Trump considering getting rid of ‘birthright citizenship’ under 14th Amendment
President Donald Trump said that he's looking at getting rid of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In a discussion with reporters en route to Air Force One, Trump explained his plans.
"We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship," Trump said, according to Foxs' Chad Pergram.
"All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside," the 14th Amendment reads.
To change an amendment to the U.S. Constitution, both houses of Congress must pass the law with two-thirds of a vote. Then, three-fourths of the state legislatures must approve it.