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Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer calls for investigation of Russian election hacking

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Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., called for a bipartisan congressional investigation into reports Russian hackers influenced the presidential election.

Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader, said Saturday the idea any country “could be meddling in our elections should shake both political parties to their core,” in response to a report by the Washington Post on Friday that the CIA said hackers sought to influence the election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump rather than simply undermine the results.

“Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this,” he said. “It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.”

Trump’s transition team responded to the CIA’s report by recalling one of the agency’s failures regarding nuclear weapons in Iraq under the Bush administration, CNN reported.

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” Trump’s team said in a statement. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Trump himself dismissed the idea of Russians hacking the election in an earlier interview with Time magazine.

“I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “Could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

Intelligence agencies identified individuals connected to the Russian government who provided Wikileaks with hacked emails and documents from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman U.S. officials said.

The individuals were also described as part of a movement by Russia to deliberately hinder Clinton’s campaign in favor of Trump.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” a senior U.S. official said. “That’s the consensus view.”

During a presentation to U.S. senators, the CIA said it was “quite clear” the goal of the Russian hacks was to elect Trump, officials said.

Some intelligence officials disagreed, citing a lack of specific intelligence stating Kremlin officials directed the identified individuals to pass the DNC emails to WikiLeaks. One official also said the individuals were “one step” removed from the Russian government.

Earlier Friday, White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco disclosed President Barack Obama had called for a “full review” into the alleged Russian hacking.

Obama requested the report be completed before Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, but Monaco did not state whether the findings will be made public.

White House spokesman Eric Schultz said the review will frame the hacks against “malicious cyber activity” around the 2008 and 2012 elections for greater context and promised to “make public as much as we can.” Politico reported.

“This will be a review that is broad and deep at the same time,” he said.

UPI

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