U.S. officials say Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies' hacking of the U.S. presidential election to help Donald Trump win. Chris Dignam reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin DID direct the hacking of the U.S. presidential election to HELP Donald Trump. That's according to three U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters on the condition of anonymity and have knowledge of intelligence information on the matter. The officials telling Reuters that the hacking of U.S. political groups and figures had a more general focus at first. One official saying it began merely as an effort to discredit American democracy. But it gradually evolved into publicizing Hillary Clinton's shortcomings and ignoring what the Russians hacked from Republican institutions. By the fall, the official said, it had become an effort to help Trump's campaign...because "Putin believed he would be much friendlier to Russia, especially on the matter of economic sanctions." On Tuesday, the president-elect officially made his pick for Secretary of State. ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who has been a vocal oppenent of those trade sanctions imposed on Russia. In July, Trump said it would be "interesting" if Russia located Clinton's deleted emails. U.S. intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russia interfered with the election has angered Trump, who says he won the vote fairly. Russian officials have denied accusations of interference in the U.S. election.