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Bi-Partisan Senate panel backs assessment that Russia interfered in 2016

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bipartisan Senate report released Tuesday affirms the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a far-ranging influence campaign approved by Russian President Vladimir Putin and aimed at helping Donald Trump win the White House.

The report rejects Trump’s claims that the intelligence community was biased against him when it concluded that Russia had interfered on his behalf in the election. It says instead that intelligence officials had specific information that Russia preferred Trump in the election, that it sought to denigrate Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton and that Putin had “approved and directed aspects” of the Kremlin’s influence campaign.

The heavily-redacted report from the Senate Intelligence Committee is part of the panel’s more than three-year investigation into Russian interference. Intelligence agencies concluded in January 2017 that Russians had engaged in cyber-espionage and distributed messages through Russian-controlled propaganda outlets to undermine public faith in the democratic process, hurt Clinton and aid Trump, who ultimately became president.

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