Although Russian hacking and influence in the 2016 presidential elections has already been confirmed and proven beyond a doubt, news released reveals that their efforts went far beyond what has been previously reported.
According to Bloomberg, suspicions that Russian government operatives attempted to hack into U.S. voting machines to swing the election in Trump’s favor has now been confirmed in at least 39 states.
‘The new details, buttressed by a classified National Security Agency document recently disclosed by the Intercept, show the scope of alleged hacking that federal investigators are scrutinizing as they look into whether Trump campaign officials may have colluded in the efforts. But they also paint a worrisome picture for future elections: The newest portrayal of potentially deep vulnerabilities in the U.S.’s patchwork of voting technologies comes less than a week after former FBI Director James Comey warned Congress that Moscow isn’t done meddling.’
Comey testified under oath that Russia is “coming after America…they will be back.”
Comey also stated that he was confident during his time as FBI director that no evidence existed that any votes were changed, and new evidence so far does not show that Russians ever gained the access needed to manipulate vote tallies. That conclusion, however, does not mean that Russia was not successful in influencing the election.
‘Such operations need not change votes to be effective. In fact, the Obama administration believed that the Russians were possibly preparing to delete voter registration information or slow vote tallying in order to undermine confidence in the election. That effort went far beyond the carefully timed release of private communications by individuals and parties.’
Despite ongoing false claims by the president of the United States as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin that Russia made no such attempts (Trump even tried to lay the blame on China, or possibly an overweight man sitting at home in his bed), few U.S. officials privy to the evidence compiled still have doubts.
A recent leak by a federal contractor with security clearance in Georgia, Reality Winner, showed that the NSA already had evidence that Russia attempted to hack into voting machines in Georgia. Although intelligence officials are remain unconvinced that any votes were changed, the new evidence that those same attempts occurred in all but 11 states in the U.S. raises all new concerns.
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