CIA veterans — none of them fans of Donald Trump — are urging caution about leaked allegations that Russia waged a secret campaign to put the New York Republican into the White House.
“I am not saying that I don’t think Russia did this,” Nada Bakos, a top former CIA counterterrorism officer tells Newsweek, in a typical comment. “My main concern is that we will rush to judgment. The analysis needs to be cohesive and done the right way.”
Reports on the alleged Russian effort have been anything but cohesive, or complete. During a closed-door briefing to the House Intelligence Committee last week, a senior FBI counterintelligence official reportedly scoffed at the CIA’s conclusion that Russia had plotted to put Trump in office, calling the evidence “fuzzy” and “ambiguous.” Details of the meeting were leaked to The Washington Post.
Another former senior official, who said he was reluctant to go on the record on “something that has obviously been politicized,” tells Newsweek that he, too, is wary of reports that CIA knows for certain that the Kremlin designed a hacking campaign with the specific goal of electing Trump….