Pompeo said Thursday that the US intelligence community determined that Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election did not affect the outcome
The CIA issued a clarifying statement after Pompeo's remarks
CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Thursday that the US intelligence community determined that Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election did not affect its outcome – a statement that was quickly clarified by his own agency.
The “intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” Pompeo said, speaking at an event hosted by Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
The CIA issued a clarifying statement after Pompeo’s remarks.
“The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed, and the director did not intend to suggest that it had,” agency spokesman Dean Boyd said.
The public report by the Director of National Intelligence released in January stated that the intelligence community did “not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”
“The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion,” the report said.
The FBI, CIA, National Security Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence also all agree that not only was the meddling the work of the Russians, but it was designed to help Republican Donald Trump’s campaign and hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s.
But Trump has never wavered in his skepticism that Russia actively meddled in the 2016 election, calling the investigations into such activities “one of the great hoaxes” as recently as last month during a campaign speech in Alabama.
“No, Russia did not help me, that I can tell you, OK?” the President said.
Six intelligence leaders – including Pompeo and Trump’s DNI Dan Coats – were asked by lawmakers on the Senate intelligence committee whether they agree that Russian intelligence agencies were responsible for hacking and the leaking of information to influence the US election. All six said yes.
In July, Pompeo was also asked about Russia’s role in the 2016 election and said he was certain Russia made attempts to affect the outcome, although he seemed to characterize that as expected.
Asked then if Russia tried to influence the election, Pompeo responded: “Of course, and the one before that, and the one before that. They’ve been at this a hell of a long time.”
Pompeo did note on Thursday that outside interference remains a threat to the midterm elections in 2018 and the next presidential election in 2020.
“We are at risk in 2018 and 2020 … we are always at risk,” Pompeo said.