It remains the most puzzling question from the 2016 presidential campaign: How far did the Russians penetrate American cyber defenses, and what other information might they have been able to acquire as result of their hacking?
According to a new report from CNN, American intelligence agencies which briefed both President Obama and Donald Trump last week informed the two that Russian operatives are claiming they possess compromising personal and financial information about the President-elect.
The findings were presented to Obama and Trump in a two-page synopsis that appeared as an appendix to the report on Russian interference in the 2016 race for the White House, according to multiple US officials who have direct knowledge of the briefings.
Why was the synopsis added to the final report issued by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers? So Trump would be fully apprised of what is being said by Russian operatives as he prepares to take the reins as Commander-in-Chief.
A high-level official in the Obama Administration told CNN:
“I have a sense the outgoing administration and intelligence community is setting down the pieces so this must be investigated seriously and run down. I think [the] concern was to be sure that whatever information was out there is put into the system so it is evaluated as it should be and acted upon as necessary.”
What might compromising personal and financial information about Trump consist of? It’s instructive to recall that Trump was accused of raping a woman when she was only 13. She dropped a civil action against Trump before the election, but her attorney claimed she was pressured to do so by the Trump team.
Financially, it has also been rumored that Trump may have numerous financial ties to Russian oligarchs and figures in the dark world of the Russian mafia. Those have not been proven, but the suggestion has lingered for years due to Trump’s extensive business holdings in Russia.
The two-page synopsis also contained information which suggests there was an ongoing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials who spoke to CNN.
Will questions about this explosive report be asked at Trump’s planned news conference on Wednesday? Or will Trump cancel at the last minute the way he has countless other times?
his article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org