U.S. officials: Putin personally involved in election hacking

U.S. intelligence officials say there is "a high level of confidence" that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in influencing the United States election.

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According to intelligence officials in the United States, there is a “high level of confidence” among the intelligence community that Vladimir Putin was personally involved in influencing the United States election.

Two senior officials are now saying that Putin personally decided how leaked information about Democrats would be revealed and how it would be used. A high-level source added that the hack started as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton and then became a targeted effort to showcase corruption in the United States government as well as to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore.”

–President Obama orders review of election hacking–

Officials also noted that “only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” which leads them to believe that Putin, who tightly controls his government, had a personal hand in the hack.

The CIA’s assessment concludes that the ultimate goal of the Russian hack was to get Donald Trump elected, though the FBI and other agencies have not come to the same conclusion.

“It is most certainly consistent with the Putin that I have watched and used to work with when I was an ambassador and in the government,” Michael McFaul, who was ambassador to Russia from 2012 to 2014, said of the intelligence assessment.

“He has had a vendetta against Hillary Clinton, that has been known for a long time because of what she said about his elections back in the parliamentary elections of 2011. He wants to discredit American democracy and make us weaker in terms of leading the liberal democratic order. And most certainly he likes President-elect Trump’s views on Russia.”