A new report by the Senate Intelligence Committee released on Tuesday upholds the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community from January of last year regarding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying that it developed a “clear preference” for then-candidate Donald Trump and made efforts to help him win the presidency.
The committee, which is still in the process of conducting a full bipartisan review, noted in its initial report on Tuesday that the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), compiled by the FBI, CIA and NSA, was based on conclusions “reached in a professional and transparent manner.”
“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency,” the assessment said. “We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”
The senators also reached a conclusion that the meddling was ordered by the Kremlin and was aimed at hurting the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, but failed to say whether Russia’ campaign was successful, Business Insider writes.
“The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions,” Senator Richard Burr, the Republican chairman of the committee, said in a statement.
The Senate’s assessment directly opposes that of the House Intelligence Committee from March, which found no evidence of election interference by Russia. Senate investigators also rejected the notion that the ICA was inappropriately influenced by politics, as some of Trump’s supporters have alleged.
Since the election, Trump has repeatedly denied there was any Russian meddling in the election, despite the intelligence community’s findings, most recently citing Putin’s continued denial.
The Senate panel also found that the so-called “Steele dossier,” a piece of Democratic-funded opposition research, did not in any way influence “the analysis in the ICA – including the key findings.”