Washington, US | XINHUA | U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the final volume of its bipartisan investigation report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The nearly 1,000 pages report confirmed former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings that the Russian government engaged in “an aggressive, multi-faceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.”
The report also said Russia viewed the then-President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team as inexperienced and sought to exploit those shortcomings.
“Russia and other countries took advantage of the Transition Team’s inexperience, transparent opposition to Obama Administration policies, and Trump’s desire to deepen ties with Russia, to pursue unofficial channels through which Russia could conduct diplomacy,” the report said.
The report noted that Paul Manafort’s proximity to then-candidate Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump campaign. Manafort was chairman of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The report, however, did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government.
Senator Marco Rubio, the acting chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said in a statement that “the Committee found absolutely no evidence that then-candidate Donald Trump or his campaign colluded with the Russian government to meddle in the 2016 election.”
Similarly, the Mueller investigation found no evidence of the Trump campaign colluding with Russia, but “identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel,” Mueller wrote in the op-ed in The Washington Post in July.