The reports on the intelligence community’s (IC) alleged conclusion that Russia wanted President-elect Donald Trump to win the election have been, in a word, schizophrenic. They’re also drawing on some odd sourcing.
The Washington Post broke the story, reporting the CIA concluded it was Russia’s “goal” to elect Trump by interfering in the election, rather than a more general plan to undermine the legitimacy of the election. The New York Times followed with reports stating the CIA concluded with “high confidence” that electing Trump was the “primary aim” of Russia’s covert campaign.
These reports fueled the Democrat narrative that Trump is too cozy with Putin and that his win is tainted, and a round of headlines reporting the FBI now “agrees” with the CIA have added fuel to the fire. But a closer look at the reporting shows it’s actually not clear what exactly the CIA concluded regarding Russia’s motives, or what the FBI’s assessment of the motive is. And it’s important to note from the outset that neither the FBI nor the CIA has commented on any of these reports.
The problems and the questions with the storyline fall into three basic distinctions: intent, sourcing and timeline.
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