Senate committee says Russia was ‘successful’ in meddling in U.S. election

Screengrab via CSPAN.com

Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Richard Burr gave an update on the Senate’s Russia investigation.

The ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee said there has not been any conclusion yet to their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said they have interviewed 100 people and reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents so far and expect to come out with findings “at some point,” although they hope to release them before the 2018 midterm elections.

In the wide-ranging press conference, Burr and Warner updated the public on the committee’s sprawling probe into Russian interference in the election. Burr and Warner touched on political ads bought by Russia before the election, the Steele dossier, memos written by former FBI Director James Comey, and meetings between members of President Donald Trump’s campaign with Russian officials, among other things.

Burr said the committee agrees with the intelligence community’s findings that Russia was “successful” in its attempt to interfere in the election and create “chaos,” in the runup to the election, including through social media. Burr also said it was clear Russia’s attempts to influence American politics did not stop on election day.

The committee also determined that specific vote tallies from election day were not altered.

Burr and Warner said the issue of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was “still open” despite the president’s repeated claims that it was a “hoax.

As for the Steele dossier, which contained a trove of allegations including the now-infamous “pee tape,” Burr said the committee has “hit a wall” in verifying portions of it from before the summer of 2016. Christopher Steele has not responded to the committee’s request to speak with them, he said.

“We have been incredibly enlightened at our ability to rebuild backwards the Steele dossier up to a certain date,” Burr said. “[But] getting past that point has been somewhat impossible.”

The committee is also looking into the role social media played in Russia’s efforts to influence the election. Burr said Google, Facebook, and Twitter have been asked to testify in an open hearing in November. Facebook has agreed to testify before Congress, Dylan Byers of CNN reported.

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