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House intel chair hasn’t seen evidence Russia hacked for Trump

By David M. Drucker

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes said he has not seen evidence that Russia tried to swing the 2016 election to President-elect Trump.

The California Republican is the top congressman in charge of overseeing and funding U.S. intelligence agencies and activities, and he has access to sensitive material.

In a wide-ranging interview Monday with the Washington Examiner’s weekly podcast “Examining Politics,” to be broadcast Thursday, Nunes said that he has not seen intelligence proving that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin unleashed his government’s computer hackers on the U.S. in a direct bid to defeat Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“There’s no proof that we have from intelligence sources that I’ve seen that show that the Russians were directly trying to help Trump,” Nunes said.

But Nunes didn’t rule it out, either, and he didn’t claim Russia wasn’t behind the hacking…

During the presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers were hacked, as was the personal email account of John Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The information, much of it embarrassing and politically problematic for the Democratic Party and Clinton’s campaign, was leaked to the public via Wikileaks. U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI have fingered Moscow as most likely behind the hacking of the information.

Many political and foreign policy analysts believe Putin was trying to manipulate the presidential election to give a boost to Trump, whom the Russian strongman views as a fellow nationalist who will defer to Moscow’s agenda.

The president-elect has given some credence to that theory by showing himself supportive of Putin.

Throughout the campaign, he was complimentary of Putin as a national and global leader. And, Trump still regularly dismisses Putin’s anti-democratic actions, such as jailing political opponents or forcibly annexing Crimea from Ukraine as similar to actions conducted by the U.S. government.

Trump and his team have pointedly downplayed suggestion that Russia hacked U.S. assets to boost his campaign.

“The way the mainstream media is playing it up is that [Russia] had an influence on the election,” Sean Spicer, Trump’s incoming White House press secretary, said in an interview on Fox News. “There is zero evidence that they actually influenced the election.”

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