NBC News: Putin Personally Directed Anti-Clinton Hacking

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

 

NBC News tells us today that the CIA assessment of Russia’s hacking goes further than previous reports have suggested:

Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin’s objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to “split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn’t depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore,” the official said.

….The latest intelligence said to show Putin’s involvement goes much further than the information the U.S. was relying on in October, when all 17 intelligence agencies signed onto a statement attributing the Democratic National Committee hack to Russia….Now the U.S has solid information tying Putin to the operation, the intelligence officials say. Their use of the term “high confidence” implies that the intelligence is nearly incontrovertible.

This comes from William Arkin, Ken Dilanian, and Cynthia McFadden, who are all pretty careful reporters. Arkin adds this via Twitter:

This makes sense. Nobody had any idea that Donald Trump would run, let alone win the Republican nomination, when the hacking operation started. And even after Trump did win the nomination, nobody thought he had much of a chance to win. All of Putin’s hacking would have been for nought if he hadn’t had some help from James Comey and a rogue group of FBI agents in New York.

So yes, Putin got lucky. But that’s the way intelligence operations work. You try a lot of stuff and hope that a fraction of it pans out. This probably seemed like a low-cost-low-probability exercise when it was first started, and ended up succeeding beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.

 

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate