Either the WaPo has pulled off another "fake news" stunt, or Obama may be this close from declaring "cyber war" on Putin.
Moments ago, the Jeff Bezos newspaper, whose main mission over the past month has been to pin Clinton's presidential failure first on Russia and then on Vladimir Putin, reported that FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have backed a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency, "according to U.S. officials."
If accurate, this would represent a U-turn to the FBI's official position, and would suggest that all three agencies are in agreement on Russian intentions, "contrary to suggestions by some lawmakers that the FBI disagreed with the CIA." Actually, not just some lawmakers: as Reuters reported earlier this week, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), America's top Spy Agency, sided with the FBI which is why today's report is surprising.
Still, things may have changed. “Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.
“The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI,” Brennan’s message read. Trump has consistently dismissed the intelligence community’s findings about Russian hacking.
In addition to "helping Trump win", the CIA and FBI officials believe Moscow’s other goal included undermining confidence in the U.S. electoral system.
If indeed the three agencies are in agreement, it is unclear what the next step may be. In his message to the CIA’s workforce, Brennan said the administration has provided detailed briefings to lawmakers and their aides since the summer.
“In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed,” Brennan wrote. “Many – but unfortunately not all – members understand and appreciate the importance and the gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway.”
Perhaps Obama, who is speaking now, will provide some much needed information on what the US' next steps are.