Trump statement differs from intelligence report on hacking affecting election outcome

A declassified version of a US intelligence report on Russian hacking did not state whether the Kremlin’s campaign to discredit Hillary Clinton affected the outcome of the election.

Yet President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement Friday after his meeting with intelligence officials that “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”

“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organisations including the Democrat [sic] National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines,” Trump said in the statement.

But the report, from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, specifically stated that it did not assess “the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

“The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyse US political processes or US public opinion,” the report stated.

The report encompasses US intelligence efforts to determine who is responsible for hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, as well as a general “influence campaign” on the election.

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election,” the report stated. “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.”

The report also concluded that Russia aimed to help Trump win the election.

“Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report stated.

It continued: “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 report stated that the CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment and the NSA has moderate confidence.

A spokesperson for Trump didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on how Trump reached the conclusion in his statement.

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