News & Politics

There's No Proof Russia Intervened to Help Trump Win, Says the FBI

A woman passes by graffiti depicting the Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and US President Elect Donald Trump in a suburb of Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. The Cyrillic letters on graffiti read "Kosovo is Serbia", as Serbia doesn't recognise Kosovo's independence. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Uh-oh, there goes yet another Democrat talking point (and excuse as to why they lose the elections):

The FBI did not corroborate the CIA’s claim that Russia had a hand in the election of President-elect Donald Trump in a meeting with lawmakers last week.

A senior FBI counterintelligence official met with Republican and Democrat members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in order to give the bureau’s view of a recent CIA report. The official did not concur with the CIA, frustrating Democrats.

The CIA believes Russia “quite” clearly intended to send Trump to the White House. The claim is a bold one and concerned Democrats and some Republicans who are worried about Trump’s desire to mend relations with an increasingly aggressive Russia. The CIA report was “direct, bold and unqualified,” one of the officials at the meeting told The Washington Post Saturday.

The FBI official was much less convinced of the claims, providing “fuzzy” and “ambiguous” remarks.

Saying that the CIA’s claims are “fuzzy and ambiguous” is a very polite way of saying they’re utter nonsense. Or, perhaps better said, that there’s no actual proof for them. The Washington Post tries to spin this news by arguing that the difference of opinion between the FBI and CIA is based on “cultural issues.” By that they mean that the FBI wants actual proof, whereas the CIA is happy to “draw inferences.”

The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.

“The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards — can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.”

The FBI is not sold on the idea that Russia had a particular aim in its meddling. “There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals,” said one U.S. official.

As the more or less libertarian website ZeroHedge points out (rather ironically):

Well, that certainly seems reasonable…who needs “facts and tangible evidence” when the CIA can just “draw inferences”…they’re supposedly really smart so we should probably just believe them.

It’s obvious that the Russians interfered in the elections by using WikiLeaks to leak damaging information about Hillary Clinton and the DNC. That does not mean, however, that they truly wanted Trump to win. Like everybody else, the Kremlin probably assumed Hillary had it locked in. If anything, they were merely aiming to sow discord, hoping that it would weaken President Hillary.

That’s at least what I’m “inferring” from the available “evidence” and “hearsay.” Yes, Langley, two can play that game.