US intelligence has identified the go-betweens the Russians used to provide stolen emails to WikiLeaks, according to US officials familiar with the classified intelligence report that was presented to President Barack Obama on Thursday.
President-elect Donald Trump is scheduled to receive a briefing Friday. In an interview earlier this week, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denied that Russia was the source of leaked Democratic emails that roiled the 2016 election to the detriment of President-elect Donald Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Meanwhile, US intelligence has received new information following the election that gave agencies increased confidence that Russia carried out the hack and did so, in part, to help Trump win. Included in that new information were intercepted conversations of Russian officials expressing happiness at Trump’s win. Another official described some of the messages as congratulatory. Officials said this was just one of multiple indicators to give them high confidence of both Russian involvement and Russian intentions. Officials reiterated that there is no single intercepted communication that qualifies as a “smoking gun” on Russia’s intention to benefit Trump’s candidacy or to claim credit for doing so.
A declassified public version of the Intelligence community’s review of the election-related cyber hack will be released as soon as this afternoon, according to a US official. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced at a news conference Friday that the gang of eight congressional leaders was briefed before those members of the intelligence community went to New York to brief Trump. “Stunning in its conclusions and you will see some of it,” Pelosi said. Vice President Joe Biden said in an interview with PBS News Hour that an unclassified version of an intel report provided to him will be released “very shortly” and will “lay out in bold print what” the US knows about the hacking.
“I think it will probably confirm what a lot of the American people think,” he said, adding that it would “state clearly” the Russians involvement in the hacking. In response to the interview, Trump tweeted on Wednesday, “Julian Assange said “a 14 year old could have hacked Podesta” – why was DNC so careless? Also said Russians did not give him the info!”