Senate panel backs intel report on Russian meddling, after interviewing Obama officials

by
May 16, 2018

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Senate Intelligence Committee leaders on Wednesday backed the 2017 intelligence community report that formally accused Russia of trying to interfere in the U.S. presidential election to boost then-candidate Donald Trump.

Their statements followed a final closed-door interview on the matter with top Obama administration officials. The committee, led by Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., spoke Wednesday with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan and former National Security Agenda Director Michael Rogers (who retired earlier this year).

Former FBI Director James Comey was invited but did not show up — skipping the closed-door session due to a “previously scheduled engagement,” his attorney said. Comey, who was fired last May, has been on a media blitz in recent weeks promoting his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty,” in which he is highly critical of now-President Trump.

Despite Comey’s absence, the committee leaders announced afterward they were able to complete the review of the intelligence community’s Russia assessment.

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