In Brief

Donald Trump helped by Russia, intelligence committee says

Republican-led Senators back finding of US intelligence agencies - and contradict Trump

The Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee has backed US intelligence agencies’ 2017 finding that Russia worked to boost Donald Trump’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election - and to hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Its conclusion is “a powerful bipartisan endorsement of a conclusion that had been called into question by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee”, says Politico.

That committee, in the lower House of Representatives, agreed that Moscow tried to damage Clinton’s campaign, but stopped short of saying Russia  tried to help Trump.

But the Senate committee chairman, Richard Burr, a Republican, left no room for ambiguity. Russia’s efforts were “extensive, sophisticated, and ordered by president Putin himself for the purpose of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton”, he said. “There is no doubt that Russia undertook an unprecedented effort to interfere with our 2016 elections.”

Burr’s conclusion contradicts Trump, says The Wall Street Journal, undermining his “rejection of the notion that Russia wanted him to win”.

The president, who was vocal on Twitter when the Republican leaders of the House committee released their favourable finding, has issued a public “no comment” on the Senate committee’s results.

A full, more detailed, report of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s 14-month investigation will be released following a declassification review conducted by the intelligence community.

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