Senate to probe alleged Russian interference in election

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday revealed the Senate's Intelligence Committee will carry out an investigation into the allegations Russia interfered with the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win -- a conclusion reached by the CIA. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (UPI) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Monday said an intelligence panel will investigate Russia’s alleged interference with the U.S. presidential election.

McConnell’s announcement comes after a report was released that said the CIA concluded Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential race to help elect Donald Trump.

“The Russians are not our friends,” McConnell said during a press conference, adding that the Intelligence Committee is “is more than capable of conducting a complete review of this matter.”

McConnell said he has the “highest confidence in the intelligence community, and especially the Central Intelligence Agency.” Trump called the CIA’s assessment“ridiculous” and another “excuse” by Democrats following their electoral loss.

A bipartisan group of Senators, including Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Jack Reed, D-R.I., called for an investigation on Sunday, to which McConnell agreed the following day.

“The CIA is filled with selfless patriots, many of whom anonymously risk their lives for the American people,” McConnell said. “I think we ought to approach all of these issues on the assumption the Russians do not wish us well.”

The CIA determined individuals connected to the Russian government gave WikiLeaks hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton‘s campaign chairman.

Trump on Monday again addressed the accusations of Russian interference led by President Vladimir Putin.

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Trump tweeted. “Unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”

During the final presidential debate, Trump was asked whether he would “condemn any interference by Russia in the American elections.”

“By Russia or anybody else … Of course I condemn. Of course I — I don’t know Putin. I have no idea,” Trump replied.

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