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Officials Believe Putin Supervised U.S. Election Hacks

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Officials Believe Putin Supervised U.S. Election Hacks

Putin, Russian Election Hacks

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies’ hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general effort to discredit the process to a specific attempt to support Donald Trump, three U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Accusations that Russia tried to influence the election by hacking people and institutions, including Democratic Party bodies, has angered President-elect Trump who says he won the Nov. 8 vote fairly. Russian officials have denied all accusations of interference in the U.S. election.

But the U.S. officials said on the condition of anonymity that the U.S. intelligence community is confident its assessment of Russian cyber attacks on the election is accurate.

“This began merely as an effort to show that American democracy is no more credible than Putin’s version is,” one of the officials said.

“It gradually evolved from that to publicizing (Hillary) Clinton’s shortcomings and ignoring the products of hacking Republican institutions, which the Russians also did,” the official said.

By the fall, the official said, it became an effort to help Trump’s campaign because “Putin believed he would be much friendlier to Russia, especially on the matter of economic sanctions” than Democratic rival Clinton.

NBC reported earlier that U.S. intelligence officials have “a high level of confidence” Putin was personally involved in the Russian cyber campaign against the United States.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told state TV channel Rossiya-24 that he was “dumbstruck” by the NBC report.

“I think this is just silly, and the futility of the attempt to convince somebody of this is absolutely obvious,” he said.

Trump, who takes office on Jan. 20, has brushed off reports of Russian hacking of U.S. political institutions.

“If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter on Thursday.

When asked about the NBC report, Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller said:

“I’ll let the president-elect’s tweets speak for themselves. But I’d say the continued efforts to try to delegitimize the election. . .at a certain point, you’ve got to realize the election from last month has got to stand.”


In October, the U.S. government formally accused Russia of a campaign of cyber attacks against U.S. political organizations ahead of the election. Obama said he warned Putin about consequences and last week ordered a review by the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Ben Rhodes, the White House’s deputy national security advisor, told MSNBC on Thursday: “I don’t think things happen in the Russian government of this consequence without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.”

The three U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters said the fact Putin was in charge was not surprising and standard operating procedure.

“If anything, given his background as a KGB officer, Putin has a much tighter grip on all Russian intelligence operations, civilian and military, foreign and domestic, than any democratic leader does,” one official said.

A senior U.S. official said last week that the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.

The reports of Russian hacking have raised concerns among both political parties in Congress, with top Republicans breaking with Trump to call for closer scrutiny.

Some Republican lawmakers have also questioned Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has close business ties to the Russian government.

(Reporting by Washington newsroom and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Writing by Yara Bayoumy; Editing by Alistair Bell)

IMAGE: Russian President Vladimir Putin gives an interview to Germany’s Bild newspaper at the Bocharov Ruchei state residence in Sochi, Russia, January 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alexey Nikolsky/Sputnik/Kremlin



  1. deanne.mcdonald December 15, 2016

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    1. yabbed December 16, 2016

      Flagged as spam. These spammers are infecting this site.

      1. dpaano December 16, 2016

        I agree….I wish they’d go somewhere else to do their advertising because this certainly is NOT the place for it. I always mark them as “inappropriate” before I block them, but it gets monotonous to have to keep doing that in these sites! I wish that NM would do something about these.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 15, 2016

    The Electoral College, that artifice and vestige of slavery based on the inhumanity of slaves in America on which Thomas Jefferson arrogantly assumed that a black person wasn’t fully human, and further honed to assign the black voter 3/5 of a white vote due to there being an excess of slaves in the South that would give southern states a voting advantage, was created by clever men to pacify the Southern states.
    This artificial and unethically whimsical device enabled Trump to ascend to the presidency, and Bush received a similar “gift” over Al Gore.

    Not only is Trump an illegitimate President in the true spirit of each vote should count equally, but Trump is totally inept and unfit morally to be President, in addition to a lot of outside help from his dear friend Vladimir whom he met once and only once backstage.

    Putin knows a sucker when he saw one, and Trump was a perfect pigeon in the right place at the right time.

    1. I Am Helpy December 16, 2016

      Plus Putin has – according to various intelligence agencies – actual blackmail material on Trump (likely video of him banging an underage hooker).

      1. White Rose December 16, 2016

        No doubt about it! Guffaw! Dream on America!

        1. jmprint December 16, 2016

          White fall, can’t wait.

          1. dpaano December 16, 2016

            I can’t wait either…..if New York and California chose to stop paying their federal taxes, these southern states would be bankrupt in a matter of months! They don’t realize that WE pay their way in this country!!!

          2. White Rose December 16, 2016

            Who are you? Pay your grocery bills and leave people alone!
            You don’t pay nuthin’ now ya hear! Ridiculous housewifes here!

          3. dpaano December 19, 2016

            Apparently, you are so misinformed that you don’t realize that California pays enough taxes to the federal government to pay for ALL the welfare, etc., for most of the Southern states. You DID hear, I hope, that California has the 6th largest economy IN THE WORLD, didn’t you? Or, do you not really know how to read and comprehend?

        2. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

          No doubt you dixiebelles and corn pone queens have no idea how much power our Dem states can wield and all we have to do is use your southern and midwestern platitude: states’ rights. You are going to be a very busy White Rose turned black and blue from exhaustion when our Dem states stop funding your states.

      2. yabbed December 16, 2016

        Remember following a visit to Russia by Trump the smirking Putin commenting about how much Trump liked beautiful young Russian women? The KGB is very experienced at blackmail videos.

      3. dpaano December 16, 2016

        I certainly wouldn’t doubt it…..and how can we tell if Melania isn’t just another Russian “spy” put there by Putin to keep an eye on Trump and report back to him? I know it sounds wild, but you never know what means the KGB will go to in order to get “inside” info into our presidency!

        1. White Rose December 16, 2016

          Duh! Which way did he go Paanoo? Which way did he go? Heavens to Murgatroyd!

          1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 16, 2016

            A very bizarre response. Watching too many cartoons, or is it the moonshine?

          2. White Rose December 17, 2016

            Just having a good time with all the silly comments of simplistic paranoïds here!
            Cartoons and moonshine are better than ridicule.

          3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 17, 2016

            OK, White Rose–Just keep guzzling the moonshine and watching cartoons. A rational response from you seems impossible.

    2. jmprint December 16, 2016

      Trump will be a pigeon as long as there is money be had.

    1. I Am Helpy December 16, 2016

      Hi angry racist grandpa! Nobody can see your angry racist grandpa memes.

      I hope that helps!

      1. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

        Otto from the Swamp Grotto is going senile.

    2. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

      You are a bonafide certified moron! Your posts are an indication of your growing senility.

      1. dpaano December 16, 2016

        As well as his ever-present stupidity!

    3. jmprint December 16, 2016

      If you hate America so much, why are you here.

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 15, 2016

    How ironic it is that the Electoral College, based in large part on a compromise with slave-holding states, and as a nod to that odious institution based on the notion of Race and Racism, would be used to enable a magnet for racist elements in America to gain the Presidency. That, plus a direct hand by Putin in the pie, has put another black mark on Trump’s character and reputation.
    So, let him take the Presidency, and let him be aware at all times that the majority of Americans saw him as utterly unfit, but that a device fashioned on the basis of slavery enabled his hollow victory.

    God does work in mysterious ways, and without a doubt will further expose the sham electoral system America’s Fathers had contrived as a convenience and without full knowledge of the long-term implications of their mistake, with Putin serving as a tool unbeknownst to him and his factory of trolls.

    Someday, we will have the will-power to dismantle the Electoral College, will start voting with our heads and not our guts, and change the rules regarding conducting an election fairly w/o hype and FOX, and no “Koch” money influencing the outcomes.

    1. Dan S December 16, 2016

      I couldn’t have said that any better. After the 2000 election I was prepared then to see the EC abolished but then 911 happened & it was all but forgotten. This time we need to introduce a new amendment to the states to go with the popular vote. It’s not to say politicians should ignore states in the farm belt & rust belt but the populace in larger cities are essentially being ignored & that needs to be addressed. Why should a minority of the people decide for the nation as a whole who should be President ?

      1. dpaano December 16, 2016

        I agree, but do you HONESTLY think our Republican Senate and House will do ANYTHING to disarm the Electoral College? Doubtful…..so, until the Democrats get back into the White House, we can’t expect anything to happen! It’s pretty ridiculous that these people have our lives in their hands and care nothing for us!

  4. Thoughtopsy December 16, 2016

    And all the Trump Campaign links to Russia… PLUS the Russian politicians who said openly they were communicating with the Trump Campaign throughout… PLUS Trump standing in front of a podium and asking Russia to hack Clinton’s emails…. didn’t make it obvious enough??????

    1. jmprint December 16, 2016

      I wonder why we never here about the direct line to banks in Russia, from Trumps Tower.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

        If you learn anything about Trump, it is his “need to know” policy. He only ever shares information with his incestuous daugher Ivanka and his sons.

      2. dpaano December 16, 2016

        We don’t hear about much of anything because Trump won’t release his tax returns…..do we think he’s hiding anything? Of course he is!! And he won’t release ANY of them until he’s actually ensconced in the Oval Office and it’s too damned late to do anything about it!

  5. White Rose December 16, 2016

    God Dog gone and dunnit! Believe me believers! Guffaw!
    How silly can America get!?
    Lucky you got the most powerful Military Industrial Complex scaring & bullying the whole world in search of an enemy to justify its existence, otherwise intellectually you would be meek as a mouse! Inexistant!

    1. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

      Did you want proof Putin is a murderer? Google the name Boris Nemtsov, a journalist Putin had killed for daring to oppose Putin’s policies. How dare you suck up to Trump and Putin. Get the hell out of this country if you are so pro Russian. Or do you need help relocating to Moscow?

      1. White Rose December 16, 2016

        The Nemtsov case is a false flag fake . You know it too.
        Poutin does not need to kill anybody!
        He has up to 82% of his people who back him up.
        I am European so all I want is for the two bullies to get off our back especially the most powerful one.
        Europe was pushed into WWII thanks to Ford and the like US industrialists? Enough is enough!
        Your way of thinking is simply primitive. Ridiculous.

  6. yabbed December 16, 2016

    We no longer have our democracy that was once admired world over. We are just another banana republic with corrupted elections and a president who is handmaiden to Russia. We should all be reading about the rise of Hitler and nazism in Germany in the ’30s because there we are today. It may ultimately be China who takes us down with Russia’s blessing but that is where we are going.

  7. jmprint December 16, 2016

    I think we need to charge all republicans for treason, for trying to sellout America to the oil industry and Putin.

    1. White Rose December 18, 2016

      Try them for 9/11! The old breed of them I mean!

  8. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

    Putin is a murdering fool. The reason he went after Hillary was due to her opposing him in 2011 when she accused him of rigging his own Russian elections. Not to worry. His own Russian people wanted him gone. But guess what? Rig an election and you get a leader you don’t want.

    Then, there was the double advantage of Trump owning huge stock in Big Oil and being the ultimate wheeler dealer. It cost Putin nothing to lend Trump billions when he went on that spending spree, ended up with over 100 bankruptcies and legal hassles that ended up in fines. Putin knows the value of making people “obligated.” Trump is obligated now to do what Putin wants. When you owe, paybacks are a bitch.

    However, when the RNC accepted Trump’s $100 billion bribe to run for president, the Republicans stupidly bit off far more than they bargained for. Trump is not obedient to anyone and is only used to people who obey if they don’t want death threats. Yes. Death Threats.

    At the moment, Putin is glorying in the fact that the election turned out in Trump’s favor and he has Trump in the palm of his hand. Odd isn’t it? Trump the big mouth, the bombastic, the tyrant, the blowhard being obligated to use this country as a bargaining chip for Putin?

  9. Eleanore Whitaker December 16, 2016

    Here is where Trump goes nutty. He thinks all of his appointments are set in stone. NO. They are not. Certain of them MUST be reviewed by the Senate. That means if even on single senator rejects one of his appointments, the candidate is dead in the water. Those are Senate rules in place for hundreds of years and if Trump thinks he can skank around them, he’s fooling himself. If he starts in on the Senate, he will set all of the Senators teeth on edge and they will not accept any of his appointments.

    1. InformedVoter December 16, 2016

      Sorry Elle, but if Trump’s nominee only gets 50 GOP votes, then VP Pence casts the 51st vote and the reconciliation nuclear clause the Dems used for the past 8 years will come back to haunt them.

  10. dpaano December 16, 2016

    Of course Putin and Trump will say that this never happened….do you actually think they would confess to something like this? Seriously? Do they think that ALL Americans are stupid or just some of them (the Trump followers)? It’s amazing at what is going on with out election process….can we EVER hope for another “honest” election in the future? Where will this leave us if foreign countries can determine who will run OUR country?

  11. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 16, 2016

    ok all can you see just what DONNY DUMP is doing here and now ? he is filling all the place’s in his cabinet with Russian people for the DUMPSTERS brain dead followers is this what you want and wanted ? he is filling offices with Russia’s clowns seems more in the traitor form now . its all just a joke to the DUMPSTER but he is bring Russia into the USA are the brain dead so stupid to see this ? he will crush and dig the grave for the country and it will be DONNY DUMP & Russia’s PUTT HEAD that will be throwing the dirt on the country’s grave . when are you going to wake up and see DONNY DUMP for what he is ? he is a compulsive and pathological liar. and he is mental deranged he lies and he believe him self . his mind is gone and a psychiatrist needs to do a full examination . maybe the Brain dead followers will wake up and see the king clown is just turning into a traitor to the USA . and one of them will stop him . learn he is all lies and not a word he says or what he promised will never come about he played all of you like donkeys

  12. ivory69690@yahoo.com December 16, 2016

    the news is saying that Russia choose our president

  13. Paul Anthony December 16, 2016

    Wikileaks says they got the info from an insider – a whistleblower who was upset with the actions of the DNC – not from Russia.
    The info was damaging to Hillary and to the DNC, so you want to blame Russia and risk starting WWIII rather than acknowledge the bad actions of the Dems.

    Stop spreading FAKE NEWS.

    1. dpaano December 19, 2016

      Suuurrre they got the info from an insider…..an insider from Russia. Get a brain, okay?

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