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The CIA says it has evidence that Russia tried to help Trump win the US election

The CIA believes that Russia intentionally meddled in the US election specifically to help Donald Trump win.

That allegation was revealed in a secret CIA presentation that was given to lawmakers, The Washington Post and The New York Times reported on Friday night.

Intelligence officials believe they have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who allegedly gave WikiLeaks thousands of hacked emails and other documents, The Post wrote.

During the election, WikiLeaks regularly published hacked documents that were damaging to Democratic Party organizations and its presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. The email dump reached a fever pitch in the final weeks of the election.

WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange, has denied his organization played any role in Russia’s alleged meddling.

The Trump transition team released a remarkable statement Friday casting doubt on the reported findings.

“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the statement said. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”

Donald TrumpDonald Trump. Rebecca Cook/Reuters

In private meetings last week, the CIA told senators the evidence they gathered demonstrates it is “quite clear” Russia aimed to help ensure a Trump victory.

Initially, the inclination within the US intelligence community was that Russia simply sought to undermine the integrity of the election. That assertion was bolstered by concerns that the Kremlin might attempt to hack voting machines on Election Day.

But, as The Post’s Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller wrote, official findings have led US intelligence experts to believe Russia was aiming for a specific result — a President-elect Donald Trump.

“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said an unnamed senior US official who was briefed on the matter and cited by The Post.

The New York Times cited a senior Obama administration official who said “We now have high confidence that they hacked the DNC and the RNC, and conspicuously released no documents” related to Republicans.

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