May 16, 2018, 6:04 AM ET

Senate Intelligence Committee backs intelligence community assessment that Putin favored Trump in 2016

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The Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday endorsed the findings of the intelligence community's report on Russia's 2016 election interference, and its findings that Russian President Vladimir Putin worked to aid President Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton's White House bid.

In a pair of statements following the meeting, the Republican and Democrat who lead the Senate Intelligence Committee say they have no reason to question the intelligence community's January 2017 report and its conclusions, splitting with House Republicans' recent report disputing the intelligence community's conclusion that Putin favored Trump over Clinton.

"Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions," Chairman Richard Burr said in a statement.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a report last month that found “no evidence” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and also accused the intelligence community of not using “proper analytic tradecraft” in its judgment of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s “strategic objectives for disrupting the U.S. election.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee invited four former intelligence community leaders to testify in a closed-door classified hearing about the analysis compiled during the Obama administration, as part of its ongoing Russia investigation.

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers appeared on Capitol Hill Wednesday for the classified hearing.

Comey, who was fired by Trump last year and recently released a book about leadership that described his encounters with the president and likened Trump to a mafia boss seeking loyalty, was also invited to testify but was not expected to appear, according to the committee aide.

A representative for Comey did not respond to a request for comment.

In March, the Senate Intelligence Committee released election security policy recommendations, while last week it released an interim report on election security.

PHOTO: Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, with ranking member Senator Mark Warner during a news conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2017.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Senator Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, with ranking member Senator Mark Warner during a news conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 4, 2017.

That report concluded that Russian-linked hackers targeted election systems in at least 18 states. The committee found no evidence that any voters were changed as a result of Russian activities but determined that hackers were in a position to alter or delete voter registration data in a few states.

On Wednesday, following the Senate hearing, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the H0ouse panel, said the House Republicans' conclusion about the IC assessment "now stands in lonely isolation - rejected by the Intelligence Community, by the findings of the Mueller investigation and by Intelligence Committee members in both chambers who have objectively reviewed the facts."

While Comey will not appear on Capitol Hill before the Senate, House Republicans have expressed renewed interest in questioning the former FBI director about his interactions with Trump and past congressional testimony following his media blitz.

The Justice Department inspector general is expected to release its report into Comey's actions and the FBI's handling of the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations in the coming weeks.

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  • Knute

    Breaking news from 2016. Obama’s NSA and CIA head read Putin mind and know he favored Trump.

  • tet1953

    Mueller announced today that Trump's indictment will have to wait until after he is out of office, one way or another.

  • blockhead1

    Some of us have been saying this since November 2016, but it bears repeating: The 2016 elections were a fraud, illegally influenced by a hostile foreign government with the encouragement of Trump and his staff. They are invalid and should be thrown out. Collusion is only a side issue, and not the primary one (though if proven it's icing on the criminal cake). Trump's crocodile tears about collusion are just that: He encourages the misconception at every turn. The real issue is that Trump was elected by Putin and friends, because they knew he would do exactly what he's doing: Destroy this nation, without Russia ever firing so much as a spitball.

  • Colinalcarz

    The best evidence that the hacking made a difference is that Trump won.

  • John Galt

    So Nunes, what kind of dirt does Trump, Cohen or Putin have on you??????

  • mickey2829

    I voted for president trump. 3million more people voted for Clinton. it seems to me the russians were helping her win the election. THANK GOD SHE LOST.

  • JesterMarcus

    A porn star's lawyer has found more evidence than the House Committee ever did. They are joke led by a dairy farmer.

    By the way, that's not an insult to dairy farmers. I just don't want one leading a criminal investigation into national security and espionage anymore than I want lawyers milking and bottling my cows.

  • Newman

    Trump knew nothing about Russian interference, but Obama sure did!

  • ROBOTIX JONES

    This is even more reason to vote out the treasonous Republicans in the House that only care about protecting Trump no matter what he's done.

  • sixstrings

    Did the House Republican report say that the Russians didn’t try to influence the election for Trump or that there was no evidence of collusion?

  • Kajsa Williams

    Thank God. Trump is the incarnation of "money-talks" America. If we could just get a bunch of common sense people who would speak the truth in D.C., maybe we could reverse the long downward slide that this country has experienced.

  • Joe Pewter

    the leftist county election officials thru out the Nation Thought Russia was """Watching""...NOT INTERFEREING..so these officials didnt dare rig the voting machines that use a "Targeting" card for candidates names..that can direct a vote to any programed location...thats why '''H" was screaming /crying that the cowards let her down...to bad Saps....Trump won fair and square for once in Decades ...GOT IT

  • P322

    I don't believe anything Comey says anyway.

  • Donald Mills

    "That report concluded that Russian-linked hackers targeted election systems in at least 18 states." I'm surprised that statement alone doesn't warrant any reciprocal action on the GOP's part??