President Obama has ordered federal intelligence agencies to conduct a full review into the Russian hacking and attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.
CNN reported on comments made by White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco:
“The President has directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process. It is to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders,” she said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters. “This is consistent with the work that we did over the summer to engage Congress on the threats that we were seeing.”
Monaco said the administration would be mindful of the consequences of revealing the results of their review publicly. All of the Democratic senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee have called on Obama to declassify intelligence on Russia’s actions during the election.
“You want to do so very attentive to not disclosing sources and methods that would impede our ability to identify and attribute malicious actors in the future,” Monaco said of disclosure.
Congressional Democrats want the results revealed publicly and will be conducting their own investigations into Russian hacking and influence on the 2016 presidential election. The White House needs to release the results of the review because millions of Americans have questions about the integrity of the recent presidential election.
If the White House review uncovers that the Russians were able to influence the election via the DNC, Clinton campaign, or other hacks, pressure will grow on Republicans to conduct a full Congressional investigation.
The White House review won’t change the election results, but if the findings are made public, it could go a long way towards explaining to the American people exactly what role the Russian cyber activities played in influencing the election.
President-elect Trump has tried to cast doubt on Russia’s responsibility for the hackings, so the incoming administration will likely attempt to squash or downplay any review, so if the American people want to know what really happened it is going to up to the current White House and President Obama to find and release the facts.