Senate Intel Panel Endorses US Spies' Finding That Russian Attack Aided Trump

Senate Intel Panel Endorses US Spies' Finding That Russian Attack Aided Trump

He continued: "I've heard nothing to contradict anything from the [assessment], particularly in terms of the fact that Russians massively intervened in our elections to the goal of helping Mr. Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton".

The Senate Intelligence Committee has interviewed Kushner and Manafort, and they may have even more information about the Trump Tower meeting still locked in their panel's secure Capitol Hill offices, as that investigation is ongoing.

The statement's drafting has been under scrutiny by the committee and special counsel Robert Mueller. The transcripts appeared to show that Don Jr. was hungry for damaging information on Donald Trump's political rival, Hillary Clinton, but that the Russians had nothing of use.

Trump Jr. testified that he did not recall telling his father about the meeting, but Democrats have pointed to Trump Jr.'s phone records to argue they aren't getting the full story from Trump's son.

Mark Warner - made after a meeting Wednesday with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers - amounts to a vote of confidence for the spy agencies.

The Senate intelligence committee is questioning top Obama administration intelligence officials about the intelligence agencies' assessment about Russian meddling in the 2016 president election.

In addition to Trump Jr., the committee interviewed four other people who attended the meeting in NY - publicist Rob Goldstone, who set up the meeting with the promise of dirt on Clinton; Rinat Akhmetshin, a prominent Russian-American lobbyist; Ike Kaveladze, a business associate of a Moscow-based developer, and a translator. In their view, the Russians tried to attack the institution of power and the system of democratic elections. WikiLeaks has denied that Russian Federation was the source of the stolen emails.

What Wednesday's document dump adds is a better understanding of the thoughts and feelings of the meeting participants before, during and after the infamous encounter at Trump Tower.

Transcripts released Wednesday detail an interview the president's eldest son gave to the Senate Judiciary Committee previous year.


Trump has consistently said he did not collude with Russian Federation and has called the investigation into possible links between Moscow and his campaign a "witch-hunt". He also did not remember the attendance at the meeting of a Russian-American lobbyist who - in a quirky sartorial detail revealed in the transcripts - was wearing pink jeans and a pink T-shirt that day.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, welcomed the Senate Intelligence Committee's findings.

According to NPR, the three biggest takeaways of the released transcripts include the following: 1) The Russians meant to collude with Americans to influence the election, but there is no proof that the Americans reciprocated 2) It is unclear what happened post-Trump Tower meeting and 3) It is unclear what Donald Trump knew beforehand. Without interviews of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, adviser Jared Kushner and others, Democrats say "much of the truth remains hidden".

But there are also avenues that weren't investigated by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

That's according to transcripts of his interview with the panel a year ago.

But nothing in the new documents appears to change the course of the Russian Federation investigations ongoing in the Senate Intelligence Committee and the special counsel's office. The committee on Wednesday released more than 1,800 pages of transcripts of interviews with Trump's son and others who met with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower ahead of the 2016 election.

CNN said that the transcripts had no information in them that would "change the course of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump's team and Russian Federation".

Throughout the private Senate interview, Trump Jr. appeared unapologetic about having taken the meeting, saying at one point, "I didn't think that listening to someone with information relevant to the fitness and character of a presidential candidate would be an issue, no".

According to the transcripts, Trump Jr. also said he didn't think there was anything wrong with attending the Trump Tower meeting in which he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.

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