The Washington Post reported Friday that the directors of the CIA and FBI, as well as the director of National Intelligence, all back an earlier CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the election in part to help Donald Trump win the presidency.
“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,” the Post reported CIA Director John Brennan wrote in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to unnamed officials who saw 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 said.
Last week, the Post reported that a secret CIA assessment found that Russian actors sought to help Donald Trump in the presidential election by leaking the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee, and others. At the time, there was reportedly disagreement among law enforcement communities, especially within the FBI, over whether Russia sought to aide Trump or simply sow doubt about the legitimacy of the electoral process.
Though representatives of the FBI and CIA did not comment on the record to the Post, one unnamed FBI official said of the two agencies’ assessments, “The truth is they were never all that different in the first place.”