Two of the nation’s top counter-intelligence officials stood by the U.S. intelligence assessment in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government sought to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election. Under questioning from Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said nothing has changed since they issued their Jan. 6 report on Russian interference in the election. The report found that senior Russian officials, including Putin, wanted to undermine the U.S. democratic process, hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump’s campaign. Comey and Rogers declined to provide details on how the intelligence community reached that assessment.
“They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her and help him,” Comey said, adding that officials had reached that conclusion by December.
In part, the FBI and intelligence agencies came to believe that Putin wanted Trump to win because he very much disliked Clinton, Comey said.
“Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much,” Comey said.