On Dec. 9, the CIA announced it had come to a confident conclusion that not only had Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election, but had done so to benefit Republican candidate Donald Trump. Now, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is calling the revelation as major as political scandals including Watergate and 9/11
“I think this is as big a deal as Watergate, as 9/11,” Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, said during a BuzzFeed event on Dec. 13. “I think they should have a 9/11-type commission. I know that [U.S. Sens.] Dianne Feinstein [of California] and Ben Cardin [of Maryland] and others are calling for that. I think it’s a step in the right direction. This is a scandal that has been uncovered.”
“The Russians leaked information in a timely fashion to WikiLeaks, also another foreign entity, in an effort to sway the election,” he continued, notes The Hill. “I don’t think there’s much question about that ... To think that [Russian leader Vladimir] Putin has such good relations with the president-elect and now his new secretary of state [Rex Tillerson].”
But the CIA’s conclusion is not the only analysis of the Russian hack, reports Vox. While all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agree that a Russian-directed hack infiltrated the presidential elections, various agencies still do not agree that it was to benefit Trump.
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“[It was] a thin reed upon which to base an analytical judgment," an official with the Office of the Director of National Security said of the CIA’s conclusion, reports Reuters.
"It's obvious that the Russians hacked into our campaigns," said Sen. John McCain, a Republican from Arizona who has come under harsh criticism from Trump. "But there is no information that they were intending to affect the outcome of our election and that's why we need a congressional investigation."
For his part, Trump is calling the conclusion “ridiculous,” reports The Hill. “I don’t believe it,” he said in a Dec. 11 interview. "I think it’s just another excuse. Every week it’s another excuse."