On Friday, the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks blasted the CIA for leaking information regarding Russian hacking to NBC News.
The Obama admin/CIA is illegally funneling TOP SECRET//COMINT information to NBC for political reasons before PEOTUS even gets to read it.”
The Obama admin/CIA is illegally funneling TOP SECRET//COMINT information to NBC for political reasons before PEOTUS even gets to read it.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 6, 2017
President-elect Donald Trump, as if in lockstep with WikiLeaks, called for both chambers of the U.S. Congress to investigate the same matter.
NBC News on Thursday reported that U.S. intelligence found evidence of Russian officials celebrating Trump’s election victory. More importantly, it also reported that U.S. intelligence officials had identified the Russians who had given the hacked emails to WikiLeaks.
The NBC report cited “a senior U.S. intelligence official with direct knowledge” of the intel report that was delivered to President Obama on Thursday and is scheduled to be delivered to Trump on Friday.
“Highly classified intercepts illustrate Russian government planning and direction of a multifaceted campaign by Moscow to undermine the integrity of the American political system,” said the official. NBC’s source also noted, however, that communication intercepts are viewed with caution because they are subject to interpretation.
The NBC broadcast included claims that Russia attacked the White House and that Russian had dual motives in the attack: disrupting the presidential election and exacting revenge on the Obama administration for attempting to delegitimize Russian President Vladimir Putin throughout his administration.
WikiLeaks, a site virtually universally known for publishing illegally funneled, classified leaks, has pushed back against the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia leaked the fruits of those breaches to the site. Founder Julian Assange has denied that WikiLeaks received the Clinton campaign emails from Russian hackers, though he seems to be making a distinction between the people who handed the material to his organization versus those who actually did the hacking. In previous interviews, Assange has said that the data which WikiLeaks has received look “very much like they’re from the Russians.”
WikiLeaks and its founder have championed the dissemination of sensitive or classified material in the past, publishing U.S. diplomatic cables and military information, along with documents from multiple other governments and political parties.