New York Times:
President-elect Donald J. Trump acknowledged the possibility on Friday that Russia had hacked a variety of American targets, including the Democratic National Committee, after an almost two-hour meeting with the nation’s top intelligence officials.
Mr. Trump asserted the hacking had no effect on the outcome of the election.
Here is Trump's full statement after the briefing:
"While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat 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. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful," Trump said in a statement released after the session.
"Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks.”
Trump then announced plans to appoint a team to look into cyber security during the first 90 days of his presidency.
(Personally I don't know why he simply does not call up Vlad and ask him how he did it and to please stop doing it.)
For their part the NSA, CIA, and FBI jointly released a declassified version of the report that Donald Trump, President Obama, and other key officials have just seen.
I found this part in particular rather informative:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US
presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process,
denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.
We have high confidence in these judgments.
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-
election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.
All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.
Moscow’s approach evolved over the course of the campaign based on Russia’s understanding of the
electoral prospects of the two main candidates. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.
Further information has come to light since Election Day that, when combined with Russian behavior since early November 2016, increases our confidence in our assessments of Russian motivations and goals.
Based on this, Trump's contention that these hacks had no impact is absolutely ridiculous.
Perhaps they did not hack the voting machines themselves, but they clearly hacked into the minds of the American voters and helped to shape their opinion of Hillary Clinton and the DNC.
And before somebody makes the claim that all the hacks did was reveal information about the DNC and Clinton which upset the voters, you must remember that these snippets of e-mails were constantly being misrepresented or exaggerated to the point where they often did not even remotely resemble the original source.
It took almost an army of fact checkers to go back and explain what the sensational headlines got wrong, but sadly the publications which corrected the lies rarely showed up on people's Facebook news feeds.
But as for whether the Russian hacks changed the outcome of the election I would go a little deeper, as far back as 2013, when a hacker named Guccifer hacked the e-mail of Clinton pal Sid Blumenthal.
Now though Guccifer, real name Marcel Lazar Lehel, was supposedly Romanian, his IP address was traced back to Russia.
Not only that but subsequent leaks came from a number of folks all using the pseudonym Guccifer 2.0. (I hardly think that is a coincidence.)
And those leaks have now been determined (Read the report) to have come from Russian hackers.
So if this first Guccifer was ALSO a Russian operative, that would mean that since it was from Blumenthal's e-mails that we first learned of Hillary's private server, which then of course inspired the GOP led congressional witch hunt, that also provided ammunition for James Comey's eleventh hour suggestion that Clinton might still be indicted, then that would mean that virtually EVERYTHING that damaged Hillary's credibility and undermined her character came directly from Russian directed hacking.
And yes, THAT most definitely impacted the outcome of this election.
In short this report should disqualify Donald J. Trump from being sworn in as our 45th president, because a hostile foreign government interceded to help him to win that title.
And America, the home of democracy, simply cannot let that stand. Period!