The Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections has already been confirmed and proven beyond a doubt by all US Intelligence agencies. But the Russian efforts to get Trump elected president went far beyond what has been previously reported.
According to a report published by Bloomberg Saturday, US officials have confirmed that Russian government operatives hacked into U.S. voting machines to swing the election in Trump’s favor in at least 39 states.
The scope and sophistication so concerned Obama administration officials that they took an unprecedented step — complaining directly to Moscow over a modern-day “red phone.”
A classified NSA document recently disclosed by the Intercept revealed the scope of the alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But, according to the report, they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections:
“They’re coming after America,” James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the election. “They will be back.”
Comey also stated that, during his time as FBI director, no evidence existed that any votes were changed or that Russians ever gained the access needed to manipulate vote tallies. That conclusion, however, does not mean that Russia was not successful in influencing the election.
“Such operations need not change votes to be effective,” the report states. “In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information, which means they could pick and choose who could vote in 39 states.” That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.
Both Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have falsely claimed that Russia made no such attempts —Trump even tried to lay the blame on China, or possibly an overweight man sitting at home in his bed. But U.S. officials say the evidence is too strong to be ignored.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Washington declined to comment on the agency’s probe.
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