It’s not hard to see why Russia would have been tempted to tip the scales in America’s presidential election. American defense officials have been warning about Russia’s capabilities and dangerous intentions, calling Moscow the gravest threat to the United States. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, made it clear her administration would redouble efforts to punish and isolate Moscow for war crimes in Syria’s civil war and its aggression toward Ukraine and other neighbors. “I’ve stood up to Russia,” Ms. Clinton said during a debate in the fall. “I’ve taken Putin on and I would do that as president.” In Mr. Trump, the Russians had reason to see a malleable political novice, one who had surrounded himself with Kremlin lackeys. Mr. Trump bragged that the Russian president had once called him “brilliant.” In July, Mr. Trump said he hoped Russia would hack and divulge more of Mrs. Clinton’s emails, an astonishing invitation to a foreign power that appeared already to be meddling in an American election.
In recent days, the scope and intent of Russia’s suspected involvement in the election has come into sharper focus. New disclosures by American officials now reveal that intelligence agencies concluded with “high confidence” that a desire to undermine American faith in the electoral system morphed into an effort to hurt Mrs. Clinton’s chances. One critical piece of evidence for this assessment was that suspected Russian hackers broke into the computer networks of both the Republican and Democratic national committees, but only leaked damaging emails from the latter.
lawmakers, President Obama has asked the director of national intelligence to conduct a “full review” of Russia’s hidden hand in the election, the White House announced Friday. The inquiry, which is to be completed before Mr. Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20, is an important, if belated, step.
Full Article: Russia’s Hand in America’s Election – The New York Times.