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Trump’s pick for Homeland Security backs U.S. intelligence on Russian hacking

'With high confidence.'


Amrita Khalid


Posted on Jan 10, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 5:41 am CDT

Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly on Tuesday said he backed the findings of a declassified report on Russia’s hacking of the presidential election released last week by the intelligence community. 

Kelly, who has been nominated by President-elect Donald Trump to head the Department of Homeland Security, told senators at his confirmation hearing that he accepted the conclusions of the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) read Kelly the introduction of the ODNI report, which stated: 

“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

McCaskill then asked Kelly if he accepted the findings of the ODNI report. 

“With high confidence,” he replied. 

As a future member of Trump’s cabinet, Kelly’s views on the Russian hacking are a departure from that of the president-elect. 

Trump initially dismissed the intelligence community’s findings that Russia intervened in the election on Twitter. He has since come out in support of the intelligence community but has maintained that Russia’s involvement played no part in altering the outcome of the election.

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*First Published: Jan 10, 2017, 8:08 pm CST