In recent days, no fewer than 17 “unnamed sources” within the intelligence community have been quoted in the media as confirming Russia’s involvement in direct hacking related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Top officials in the national intelligence community, however, don’t believe it. According to Lifezette, both the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence have taken serious issue with the Central Intelligence Agency jumping to conclusions.
An ODNI official noted that the CIA conclusion was a “judgment based on the fact that Russian entities hacked both Democrats and Republicans, and only the Democratic information was leaked,” and added that such reasoning was “a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment.”
Thankfully, former House Intelligence Committee Chairman and all-around straight shooter Pete Hoekstra shined his ever-present light on the source of the misinformation.
Hoekstra told Newsmax TV yesterday that “rogue employees” in the CIA are leaking information about alleged Russian hacks to discredit President-elect Donald Trump.
The Washington Post ran an article last week about a secret CIA assessment concluding that Moscow’s efforts to sway the election were not simply to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, but to sway the outcome in Trump’s favor.
President Barack Obama has in fact been conducting secret intelligence briefings on the matter since September, with no clear agreement among legislators and security experts about the reliability of the data.
“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., current chair of the House Intelligence Committee. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
Hoekstra attributed The Post report to uninformed CIA employees acting beyond the scope of their duties.
“Someone just confirmed that to me today that this is not people who are in the briefings leaking the information,” Hoekstra said. “They’re leaking it selectively — and they’re leaking it to a media that wants to embrace it and wants to run with it.
Journalists have a sacred responsibility for due diligence, and the public deserves better.
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