5:41 PM 10/19/2017 – The Impact of Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and its outcome

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The impact of the presumed Russia’s (or any other) interference in the 2016 American presidential election and its outcome is the whole heart and crux of the issue. It is unanswered at this time, and requires statistical studies, especially in the light of the new series of reports about the significant social media involvement. The issues and the questions to solve are the principles and the methods of measuring these presumed, hypothetical, and strongly suspected influence and its practical impact. This appears to be solvable in principle by good statisticians and other researchers, which will address the dilemma, raised by Mr. Trump, regarding the “billions” spent on the conventional advertising and the “thousands” spent on the social media, but in the decisive fashion and location, and specifically by Cambridge Analytica and other similar involved entities. 

M.N. 

 5:45 PM 10/19/2017 | Updated on 4:01 AM 10/22/2017

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A petition challenging the 2016 U.S. presidential election results has long … of the 2016 presidential election due to purported Russian interference. … Does this mean the Court will discuss each petition distributed during their conference?

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Every Excuse Hillary Clinton Has Given for Her 2016 Election Loss

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New York TimesSep 21, 2017
“We’re not really expecting any Russian interference. … traditional news media sources and, unlike Americans, tend to be wary … “It would almost make more sense for the C.I.A. to leak fake news to make it seem like the Russians did it. … like the power grid, hospitals or servers that process election results.
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CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian …

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German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?

New York TimesSep 21, 2017
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CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo declared Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome, a statement that distorted spy agency findings.

“The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” Pompeo said at a security conference in Washington.

His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims and the purchase of ads on Facebook.

A report compiled by the CIA and other agencies described that Russian operation as unprecedented in its scale and concluded that Moscow’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process and help elect Donald Trump.

But the report reached no conclusions about whether that interference had altered the outcome — an issue that U.S. intelligence officials made clear was considered beyond the scope of their inquiry.

“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” the report said. U.S. spy agencies are “charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors,” the report said, but do “not analyze U.S. political processes or U.S. public opinion.”

[Senate Intelligence Committee leaders: Russia did interfere in 2016 elections]

Former U.S. intelligence officials voiced concern over Pompeo’s statement.

“This is another example of Pompeo politicizing intelligence,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. Pompeo “is the most political CIA director since Bill Casey” during the Reagan administration, the former official said. “This significantly undermines the intelligence community’s credibility.”

The former official and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the subject’s sensitivity.

A CIA spokesman denied that Pompeo intended to mislead the public with his remarks. “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” said the spokesman, Ryan Trapani, “and the director did not intend to suggest that it had.”

Pompeo’s comment came in response to a question about Russian meddling at the end of a lengthy public appearance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank.

Pompeo also criticized former U.S. intelligence officials for their television appearances, implying that they have violated their oaths and potentially contributed to the leaks of sensitive information.

“There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, adding that their obligation to remain quiet about their work “far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge.”

[At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally]

His comment seemed to be aimed mainly at former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration, including James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of National Intelligence, who said in a recent interview that Russia’s interference had “cast doubt” on Trump’s win.

“Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory,” Clapper said in an interview on CNN last month. He added that he worried Trump’s perceived focus on the issue “transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process.”

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Clapper could not immediately be reached to comment.

Michael Morell, the former CIA deputy director who is employed by CBS News to comment on national security issues, responded to Pompeo with a post on Twitter. Pompeo’s caution against leaking is “wise,” Morell said. “But, to be clear, critiquing policy is not leaking.”

Pompeo’s mischaracterization of the intelligence report was the latest in a series of statements from the former Republican congressman that have seemed aimed at minimizing the significance of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At a security forum in Aspen, Colo., earlier this year, Pompeo said that “it is true” that Russia interferedbut had also done so in the election “before that, and the one before that.” He continued that refrain Thursday, saying he had recently been reading accounts of Russian attempts to meddle in “the Nixon elections” in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The intelligence report released in January, which was produced in part by Pompeo’s own agency, noted Russia’s “longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order” but said the 2016 effort “demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope of effort compared to previous operations.”

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Trump Suggests ‘Pee Tape’ Dossier Was Financed Jointly by Russia, the FBI

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President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to suggest a potentially explosive dossier of allegations concerning his links to Russia may have been paid for by the FBI, Russia, the Democratic Party or a combination of the three. Trump’s tweeted speculation came a day after two officials with the intelligence firm that commissioned the dossier last year appeared before the House Intelligence Committee but invoked their constitutional privilege not to provide testimony.

Related: Here’s what the ‘golden shower’ dossier now being investigated by Mueller claims about Trump and Russia

“Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th,” Trump tweeted. “Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?”

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The Washington-based firm Fusion GPS commissioned former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to produce the dossier during the 2016 election campaign. It has refused to bow to pressure to disclose who paid for it. A lawyer for the firm, Josh Levy, wrote a letter to the House Intelligence Committee this week accusing Republican Chairman Devin Nunes of an “abuse of power” after he issued a subpoena to get the firm’s representatives to testify on Capitol Hill.

It has been widely reported that the dossier was initially financed by anti-Trump Republicans before Democrats picked up the check as the campaign moved toward the general election. Steele contacted the FBI with his findings and in October the two parties reached an agreement that he would continue his research with compensation from the bureau, according to a report from The Washington Post. That agreement never came to fruition, however.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee and his economic team at the White House, on October 18. Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to suggest a potentially explosive dossier of allegations concerning his links to Russia may have been paid for by the FBI, Russia or the Democratic Party or a combination of the three. Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

A summary of the dossier’s findings was provided to Trump and President Barack Obama ahead of January’s presidential inauguration. And, while Trump labeled the dossier “discredited” and “fake,” investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election have been taking it increasingly seriously.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the investigation into the dossier had been taken up by the man leading the FBI’s Russia probe, Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The former FBI director’s team has also met with Steele, CNN has reported.

Some of the more salacious details of the dossier, including that Russia possesses a video of Trump getting Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel room was once occupied by President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, have not been verified. But some aspects of the so-called pee-tape dossier have been corroborated, according to the CNN report.

Suggesting that a federal intelligence service coordinated with a foreign power to produce a dossier about him is just Trump’s latest explosive and unsubstantiated accusation. Notably, he has also claimed that three million to five million people voted illegally in the 2016 election and that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped his residence at Trump Tower.

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NPR News: 10-19-2017 11AM ET 

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