In the latest evidence that Russia was pulling for a Donald Trump victory in last year’s presidential election, American officials say that the U.S. intelligence community discovered Russian officials rejoicing after the president-elect beat Hillary Clinton.
According to the report from the Washington Post, the Russians weren’t just happy about Trump’s victory – they were congratulating themselves for making it happen.
More from the report:
Senior officials in the Russian government celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow, according to U.S. officials who said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election in which Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.
The ebullient reaction among high-ranking Russian officials — including some who U.S. officials believe had knowledge of the country’s cyber campaign to interfere in the U.S. election — contributed to the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Moscow’s efforts were aimed at least in part at helping Trump win the White House.
The reporting only confirms what millions of Americans – and pretty much the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus – already knows about the recent presidential election: The Russians were actively trying to make Trump the next president.
The information was presented to President Obama on Thursday and is set to be given to Trump on Friday in a meeting with CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Trump has spent recent weeks downplaying Russia’s involvement in the cyberattack and is still unwilling to admit that the foreign country had anything to do with it. In recent days, he has taken on the intelligence community, claiming the agencies are building a phony case against Moscow.
When he meets with the same intelligence officials he’s been trashing, it’s unclear how Trump will spin the information he’s given in order to protect the Russians – but you can bet he’ll try.