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Senior Democrats Suggest That Russian Hacking Wouldn't Be Possible Without American Help

With President Trump finally meeting his Russian counterpart at the Hamburg G-20 Summit, the Trump Administration is doing everything possible to further Russia-themed controversy. Broadly speaking, the Russia Investigation is the umbrella term for foreign meddling in the 2016 presidential election. According to US intelligence services, Russian interference was designed to increase Donald Trump’s likelihood of becoming president. To this end, Russian hackers launched a series of cyber-attacks against Democratic National Committee (DNC) email accounts, forwarding sensitive information to WikiLeaks and disseminating a range of misleading news stories.

Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller is spearheading the Russian investigation, assembling an all-star legal team of 15 prosecutors. At this stage, observers have identified three main aspects of Mr. Mueller’s investigation: possible Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign team and Russian officials, and the suspicious dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey.

On the eve of his meeting with President Putin, President Trump openly admitting that Russia “could very well have been” responsible for foreign cyber-attacks on US electoral systems. Now, Senior Democrats are proposing another disturbing theory, questioning whether Russian hackers had help from American citizens.

Mark Warner, a Senator from Virginia and one of the most prominent Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has theorized that Americans supplied Russian hackers with critical information about America’s political landscape. Dismissed FBI Director, James Comey, hinted at such an occurrence in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee, telling the panel that an investigation would determine “if any Americans were part of helping the Russians.”

Mr. Warner is equally concerned by the amount of incorrect political information circulating on social media. Mr. Warner believes that, during the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, the Kremlin paid Americans to post and share pro-Trump news, regardless of its factual authenticity. Mr. Warner expanded on these views at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying: “One of the things that seems curious is, would the Russians on their own have that level of sophisticated knowledge about the American political system, if they didn't at least get some advice from someone in America?”

Hillary Clinton is also confident that Russian hackers had American help, referring to the suspicious timing of the WikiLeaks dump of DNC emails, saying: “I think it is fair to ask, how did they know what messages to deliver? Who told them?" Ms. Clinton added to her original statement in an interview with recode.net, emphasizing that: “The Russians, in my opinion, and based on the intel and counterintel people I've talked to, could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided."

However, Republican Senator and Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Robert Burr, is doubtful of this latest theory, declaring: “Maybe they’re [Democrats] trying to pin the tail on some donkey here.” Mr. Burr has received widespread support from online commentators, many of whom have pointed out that, as of now, there is no evidence of American support and assistance to Russian hackers or intelligence officials.

Source: Politico
Photo: CNN Screenshot

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