In January 2017, after Donald Trump eked out his electoral college victory but before he took office, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a report outlining what the CIA, NSA, and FBI knew—and could say publicly—about Russian attacks on the 2016 election. The report concluded that the Russian government orchestrated the assault at the direction of Vladimir Putin and that one Moscow aim was to bolster Trump’s campaign.
Trump has consistently denied or discounted the findings in the years since as a “deep state” plot to undermine him. But a new report released Tuesday from the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee gave the report an overall blue ribbon seal of approval. The committee, after years of investigations, interviews with relevant officials, and an exhaustive review of the intelligence that underpinned the report’s conclusions found that it was professionally produced free of political pressure and that its assessments were an accurate representation of what the government knew.
“The Committee found the [report] presents a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis of unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” according to the Senate investigators. “The Committee concludes that all [redacted] analytic lines are supported with all-source intelligence, although with varying substantiation. The Committee did not discover any significant analytic tradecraft issues in the preparation or final presentation.”
The committee’s findings refute Trump, specifically affirming the conclusion that Putin “approved and directed aspects” of the Russian attacks on the election, that the Russian operation was designed to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances in the election, and “that Putin and the Russian Government demonstrated a preference for candidate Trump.”
The report is the fourth volume generated by the Senate committee’s investigation of the Russian attacks on the 2016 elections. Previous reports have documented Russian attacks on US election infrastructure, Russian use of social media, and the US government’s response to Russian activities. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.