The highly anticipated report is the intelligence community’s strongest expression yet of the charge that Russia was behind the DNC hacks and distributed information from those hacks to the public using various channels.
With the release of this report there is no more denying that Moscow was responsible for cyberattacks directed at the Democratic National Committee and members of Hillary Clinton's campaign team as the report states that Russian spies gained access to DNC networks in July 2015 and maintained access until at least June 2016, according to the report.
The CIA, FBI and NSA concluded...
“Russian efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election represent the most recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the US-led liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous operations,”
In the report the CIA and FBI state that Putin’s aim was to boost Trump’s chances of winning, while discrediting his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to the report...
“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” intelligence officials concluded in the report.“We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,”
The intelligence community concluded that the hacking and subsequent release of damaging information against Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign stemmed from what Putin perceived as U.S. efforts to undermine Russian credibility. Officials said Putin may have held a grudge against Clinton due to what he perceived as her role in inciting protests against his government in 2011 and 2012, according to the report.
The report goes on to cite Russian president Putin’s attraction to the candidate Trump may have stemmed from
“positive experiences working with Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder,”
It was also noted that Putin openly praised Trump’s positions on Syria and Ukraine, his favoring of closer relations with Moscow and repeated expressed doubt that the Russian government directed the cyberattacks throughout the election.
It is also reported that senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.
Interestingly the report revealed that Russian intelligence services conducted cyberattacks against targets associated with not only the Democratic but the Republican parties as well.
“Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct a comparable disclosure campaign,”
The RNC is not specifically mentioned in the report but it is made clear that Republican institutions as well as individuals were hacked.
In conclusion the report asserts the mix of cyberattacks and propaganda efforts resembles the “multifaceted campaigns” Moscow previously executed in Ukraine in 2014 and that the intelligence community assesses that Russia will see its efforts as a...
“qualified success” and “apply lessons learned … to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes.”The 14-page declassified report fulfils an order from the White House last month that tasked the intelligence community with conducting a full review of foreign hacking efforts aimed at disrupting U.S. elections dating back to 2008.