The left-leaning mainstream media has been buzzing since the CIA reported over the weekend that it believed Russia was behind the release of the thousands of emails associated with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign in order to make Republican rival Donald Trump the winner.
However a new development may throw some cold water on the CIA’s assessment. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has not endorsed the CIA report because of a lack of evidence, Reuters reported.
The ODNI oversees 17 intelligence agencies in the United States, and its refusal to endorse the CIA report was a powerful slap in the face to the CIA — and fresh ammunition for Trump and his supporters to denounce the accusations.
It should be noted that the ODNI has refuted the CIA’s claim either, but noted that there wasn’t enough evidence to back up the claim that the Russians wanted Trump to win.
“ODNI is not arguing that the agency (CIA) is wrong, only that they can’t prove intent,” an anonymous official explained. “Of course they can’t, absent agents in on the decision-making in Moscow.”
“(It was) a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment,” a source noted.
CNN noted that the FBI and the CIA have differed on their assessments of why the Russians may have meddled in the election because finding evidence of intent is very hard to do — especially when it comes to cyber warfare.
The reports of Russian meddling have thrown yet another wrench into the electoral process. Fox News reported that several members of the electoral college are demanding an intelligence briefing before the ballots are cast next week.
Of course if the intelligence agencies themselves can’t agree on anything, it’s unclear what sort of help an intelligence briefing would be to the electors.
The bottom line is that the CIA appears to have jumped the gun and issued a dramatic statement without any evidence to back it up. Instead of peddling wild theories that make great headlines, the CIA should focus on finding facts and solid evidence, and then present their case to the American people.
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