As one of his last acts in office, President Barack Obama has ordered a “full review” of supposed cyber attacks on the 2016 election, despite the fact that there is no proof that any occurred.
Obama has ordered the nation’s intelligence agencies to conduct this review and report back to him before he leaves office on January 20.
“The president has directed the intelligence community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process … and to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders, to include the Congress,” Obama’s homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, said at an event on Friday.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz later insisted that the review would be a “deep dive” to look for any patterns of interference as far back as 2008. “This is a major priority,” Schultz added, according to Reuters.
Reuters also reported that Monaco said that in 2008 Senator John McCain was warned by federal officials that his campaign computers had been breached by Chinese hackers.
In other reports, a recent piece at the Washington Post claims that a “secret” CIA report concluded that Russian hackers did, at least, have a hand in disseminating the hacked Democrat emails published by WikiLeaks. But there is no indication that the Russian government was directly involved.
“Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials,” the paper reported on December 9.
The leaks, the paper insisted, were “part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.”
Donald Trump has said that he doesn’t believe Russia played any part in the recent election.
“I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump told Time magazine. “That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say, ‘Oh, Russia interfered.'”
Still, despite the claim that Russian hackers were part of the WikLeaks release, there is no evidence that any state election machines or computers were hacked during the November 8 election, and Republican lawmakers are warning that too much should not be made of these reports.
“I’ll be the first one to come out and point at Russia if there’s clear evidence, but there is no clear evidence — even now,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA.), the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and a member of the Trump transition team. “There’s a lot of innuendo, lots of circumstantial evidence, that’s it.”
Thus far no state official has said there is any proof of hacking. Wisconsin officials, for instance, said late in November that they’ve seen “no evidence of hacking.”
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