Anonymous CIA sources claim the agency has identified the Russian operatives that gave the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks the hacked material that helped Donald J. Trump win the U.S. election. The CIA will brief the president-elect on the findings regarding the Russian hacks into DNC servers and John Podesta’s email account on Friday.
Sources claim the Russian intel operatives provided WikiLeaks with the stolen emails at the request of Russia president Vladimir Putin. The senior intelligence officials agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity Thursday. They said the CIA has proof Russia was directly involved in discrediting the U.S. election system and helping Trump secure the win.
The intelligence report containing all these details landed on President Barack Obama’s desk Thursday. Trump will see it on Friday. Yet the billionaire repeatedly rejected accusations of a Russian interference with the U.S. election. Russia too dismissed the accusations.
Russians Cleverly Hid their Traces
One of the sources, however, said that it became crystal clear in October that Kremlin was employing operatives to help Trump win. The source declined to be identified because the info is labeled as Top Secret.
The official added that the Russian military used “a circuitous route” to hide its traces when it contacted WikiLeaks. Intelligence communities widely employ these tactics worldwide.
The said ‘route’ made WikiLeaks mastermind Julian Assange unaware of the true origin of the leaks. Assange said earlier this week in an ABC interview that Russia was not his source.
In an interview with FoxNews, he said the source of the stolen emails that landed in his organization’s hands is not a “state party”. Assange suggested he got the leaks from a third party.
The revelations emerged in the wake of a hearing featuring the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. During the testimony, Clapper said that he strongly believes Russians staged the hacks on the Democratic Party last year.
Russian Officials Reportedly Celebrated Trump Win
It is worth noting that not all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies co-authored the said report. The CIA will release an unclassified version of the report Friday. People familiar with the matter said the assessment contains some interesting information.
For example, the CIA reportedly intercepted the discussions of senior officials within the Russian government. In some of those conversations, the officials celebrated Trump’s victory. They also provided hints they were aware of the hacks’ impact on the final outcome.
People familiar with the matter declined to be more specific on the nature of those communications. One source said Russian officials undoubtedly celebrated a victory over the United States”.
The CIA also found that as the leaked email stirred more controversy among the American public, Kremlin focused “almost exclusively” on Democrats. In addition, the malware used in the hacks is very similar to that employed in other hacks across Europe.
In Europe, Russians resorted to other tactics they might have used in the U.S.A.too such as bribery, extortion, and spearfishing attempts. Sources added the damage is far more extensive because hackers stole personal info on Democratic leaders which they may later use in identity thefts.