Senate committee agrees with intelligence community assessment of election meddling, breaking with GOP House investigation

The Senate Intelligence Committee's leaders said Wednesday they believed that the intelligence community's 2017 asses...

Posted: May 16, 2018 9:14 PM
Updated: May 16, 2018 9:15 PM

The Senate Intelligence Committee's leaders said Wednesday they believed that the intelligence community's 2017 assessment of election meddling was correct, breaking with Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee who questioned the conclusion that the Russians were trying to help President Donald Trump get elected.

"There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 election," Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said in a statement. "Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions."

The top Democrat on the committee, Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, said that "after a thorough review, our staff concluded that the ICA conclusions were accurate and on point. The Russian effort was extensive, sophisticated and ordered by President Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hilary Clinton."

The joint statement comes after former director of the National Security Agency Michael Rogers, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper sat down with the committee in a closed hearing Wednesday morning about the 2017 assessment.

The bipartisan conclusion from the Senate Intelligence Committee leaders is a sharp break from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, who disputed the intelligence community's findings that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to help Trump.

The House Republican report alleges there were "significant intelligence tradecraft failings" in that assessment from the intelligence community, which they argue "undermine confidence" in the conclusions about Putin's objectives in the 2016 election. The Republicans argued that the draft of the assessment on that point was "subjected to an unusually constrained review and coordination process."

Last week, Burr signaled his committee would break with the House Republicans. When asked about the House findings, he said: "Well, I'm not sure the House was required to substantiate every conclusion with facts."

"We may have different opinions," Burr said. "But whatever we propose, whatever we assess, we're going to have the facts to show for that."

Following Wednesday's statement, several top Republicans also voiced support for the intelligence community's findings. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate's No. 2 Republican, said the assessment was "by and large well done."

"I think the President tends to conflate collusion and meddling, and fairly there is overwhelming evidence in meddling and no evidence in collusion," Cornyn said. "I think the ICA by and large was well done. I do think they dropped the ball with respect to crediting the Steele dossier -- I think it gave rise to a lot of rumors and gave rise to a lot of unverified information, which should not have been part of it."

"The IC did a good job in a very rapid time period pulling together the details," said Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford, a Republican member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. "The ICA wasn't comprehensive about everything. They had a very thin slice of what they were looking at. For what they did, in the time period they did it, it was accurate."

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another Republican member of the panel, said, "I think the IC assessment was thorough, well-researched, and well done based on the information they had at the time."

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican and a frequent defender of Trump's, declined to comment.

And Burr would not discuss the matter further in person, saying that the panel would soon issue a report on the matter.

"I'm going to let the report, when it comes out, speak for itself," Burr said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
Blue Earth601035
Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
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Roseau181017
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Houston158214
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Wadena131420
Faribault124917
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Watonwan11828
Rock116314
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Murray9548
Jackson94610
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Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
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Lac qui Parle68716
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Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
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Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
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Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
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Union119331
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Emmet115340
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Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
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Monona76527
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Osceola68315
Worth6678
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