Russian Federation investigation: The 'collusion issue is still open', says Senate intelligence chairman

by Antonio Miles October 5, 2017, 0:33
Russian Federation investigation: The 'collusion issue is still open', says Senate intelligence chairman

During the course of the investigation, committee members and staff investigators have conducted mostly behind-the-doors interviews with several members of Trump's inner circle and the intelligence community.

He said they have amassed more than 4,000 pages of transcripts- yet more work needs to be done.

However, the Senate Judiciary Committee - which is also conducting its own Russian Federation probe - was able to interview the man who hired Mr Steele to compile the report, Glenn Simpson, behind closed doors.

He told reporters on Capitol Hill that he still hoped to issue some kind of public report about what intelligence professionals call the Russian "active measures" aimed at the US and the West, but Burr declined to set a date.

Senator Burr said that Russian Federation also created false accounts to "drive interests toward stories or groups ... to drive division".

Facebook intends to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee at a hearing next month, a source with knowledge of the matter told CNN Wednesday.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that Russia's activities on social media were "indiscriminate" and did not favor either side of the political spectrum.

"The Russian active measures efforts did not end on Election Day 2016", Warner added.

Russian Federation has repeatedly denied any meddling in the election.

Russians or their operatives were buying public ads aimed at amplifying political division in the US, or using fake accounts, disguised as Americans, to openly throw fuel on hot controversies.

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Facebook has said the ads focused on divisive social and political messages and were seen by an estimated 10 million people before and after the election. He did not say which aspects of the dossier the committee may have verified or how much. CNN reported Tuesday that the ads targeted crucial swing states Wisconsin and MI. Special counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating for months the Trump team's connections to Russians, and even the possibility of collusion.

"We have not come to any determination on collusion or Russia's preferences", Burr said. Third, "you ought to be able to go down and take a look at an ad run for or against you like you'd be able to get a look at that content on TV", Burr said.

The committee has also scheduled an additional 25 interviews for this month, Burr added.

Burr and Warner warned that Russian sources are continuing to try to influence elections, not just in the USA but in other countries like France where recent national votes have been held.

Google officials said in a statement Friday that they are looking for evidence of Russian meddling within their system, but have not announced any findings.

As to the broadest question about whether Russian Federation did, in fact, launch an influence campaign, that was never in dispute for Burr and Warner.

While Trump's defenders have dismissed the Steele dossier as a politically-motivated smear, Burr indicated that his committee is still working to evaluate its claims and has not dismissed it outright.

Burr said wouldn't be drawn in to responding directly to the president on that point, but he did reaffirm that he had no doubt that Russia's "active measures" campaign had taken place past year and continues, in different form, to target the West.

"You can't walk away from this and believe that Russia's not now active", he added.

Burr characterized the 2016 attempts by Moscow as a "very expansive network of Russian interference" that wanted to "create chaos at every level".


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