U.S. intercepts capture senior Russian officials celebrating Trump win
It apparently was a happy happy HAPPY time in the Kremlin when the votes were counted on U.S. election day. As President-elect Donald Trump continues to go on the Twitter offensive against U.S. intelligence agencies that insist Russians were behind hacking during the election, a new tidbit emerges: U.S. intelligence intercepted Russians celebrating “their” victory. The Washington Post:
Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.
The ebullient reaction among high-ranking Russian officials — including some who U.S. officials believe had knowledge of the country’s cyber campaign to interfere in the U.S. election — contributed to the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow’s efforts were aimed at least in part at helping Trump win the White House.
Other key pieces of information gathered by U.S. spy agencies include the identification of “actors” involved in delivering stolen Democratic emails to the WikiLeaks website, and disparities in the levels of effort Russian intelligence entities devoted to penetrating and exploiting sensitive information stored on Democratic and Republican campaign networks.
Those and other data points are at the heart of an unprecedented intelligence report being circulated in Washington this week that details the evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign and catalogues other cyber operations by Moscow against U.S. election systems over the past nine years.
The classified document, which officials said is over 50 pages, was delivered to President Obama on Thursday, and it is expected to be presented to Trump in New York on Friday by the nation’s top spy officials, including Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. and CIA Director John Brennan.
Trump is responding the way he always does: by going on the attack and in effect trying to change the subject from the issue at hand (issue=evidence intelligence services have):
President-elect Donald J. Trump said in an interview Friday morning that the storm surrounding Russian hacking during the presidential campaign was a political witch hunt being carried out by his adversaries, who he said were embarrassed by their loss to him in the election last year.
Mr. Trump spoke to The New York Times by telephone three hours before he was set to be briefed by the nation’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials about the Russian hacking of American political institutions. In the conversation, he repeatedly criticized the intense focus on Russia.
“China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names,” he said, referring to the breach of computers at the Office of Personnel Management in late 2014 and early 2015. “How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt.”
Given the president-elect’s skepticism about the intelligence community — particularly its conclusions about Russia — the Trump Tower briefing has taken on the tenor of a showdown between the president-elect and the intelligence agencies he has disparaged.
“The Russians felt pretty good about what happened on Nov. 8 and they also felt pretty good about what they did,” a senior U.S. official said.
But he didn’t stop there:
I am asking the chairs of the House and Senate committees to investigate top secret intelligence shared with NBC prior to me seeing it.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
Some reaction on Twitter:
Wikileaks echoes Donald Trump attacking leakers. This is getting so weird and disturbing. https://t.co/aG57m1aMyt
— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) January 6, 2017
In 1 day, Trump was dissed by all 3 intelligence heads, dumped by former CIA director Woolsey, & thrown shade by former chair of jt. chiefs.
— John Aravosis (@aravosis) January 6, 2017
Nobody is accusing President-elect Trump of hostility to all intelligence gathering. He profited enormously from the work of Russian spies.
— David Frum (@davidfrum) January 5, 2017