Citing anonymous senior U.S. officials, Reuters reported that a soon-to-be-made-public report on Russian interference in the 2016 election affirms that Russian officials coordinated the leak of hacked emails to WikiLeaks at the direction of Vladimir Putin. It is unclear from the Reuters story whether the report names those officials.
The upcoming report, the anonymous officials told Reuters, concluded that the Russian government sought to discredit the electoral process and assist Donald Trump. President Barack Obama saw the report Thursday morning, and the President-elect is scheduled to be briefed on it Friday afternoon.
The report also contains so-called “minor footnotes,” including intercepted messages among senior Russian officials who were aware of the hacking effort, and who celebrated Trump’s electoral victory, which bolster the case for Russian interference, according to Reuters.
"People who knew what this was about were celebrating a victory over the United States,” Reuters quoted one unnamed official as saying.
Russia has consistently denied any attempt to interfere in the U.S. election. Trump, in an interview with the New York Times on Friday, said focusing on Russian interference in the election constituted a “political witch hunt” against him.
Hours later, he wrote on Twitter that he is asking Congress to investigate “top secret intelligence” he claims was shared with NBC:
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