Did Russia hack the US presidential election? Here’s what we know
Allegations that Russia hacked the U.S. presidential election have led to vote recounts in some states. A CIA report that concluded Russia played a role in the President-elect Donald Trump‘s win has prompted a commitment by Congress to proceed with an investigation.
This is not the first time hackers have been accused of accessing U.S. systems. In both April and July 2015, Russian hackers were accused of compromising thousand of Pentagon emails. Russian hackers were also accused of accessing State Department and White House networks in late 2014.
Trump has repeatedly dismissed Russia had any role in his victory. Here’s a look at the recent history of the Russian hacking allegations involving the U.S. election.
DNC email hack
The FBI investigates the hacking of thousands of Democratic National Convention emails, saying “a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously.”
Sensitive DNC emails were posted to Wikileaks in July, after an earlier computer system breach. Clinton’s camp claims Russia orchestrated the email hack to help Trump’s campaign.
Democratic officials had discovered malicious software on their computers in April, which a cybersecurity firm linked to sophisticated hacking groups with ties to the Russian government.
Days later, Trump suggests Russia should help find the missing emails from Clinton’s stint as secretary of state. He also suggests “it’s probably China” behind the email hack.
Trump later states he was being sarcastic about seeking Russian help.
WATCH: Trump suggests China, not Russia, behind DNC email hack
Electronic voting machines prompt hack concerns
Voter registration system are compromised in two states, prompting alarm that U.S. polling machines could be tampered with. Concerns focus on out-of-date, hard-to-secure voting machines which don’t produce a paper ballot, leaving no paper trail of voters’ choice.
FULL COVERAGE: U.S. Presidential election 2016
The FBI warns states to boost their computer security, amid concerns foreign countries will manipulate the election’s outcome.
WATCH: U.S. election could be vulnerable to electronic-system hacks
Trump maintains belief election is rigged
An often-repeated phrase during his campaign, Trump maintains belief up until election day that the election is “rigged.”
Trump encourages his supporters to monitor polling places, based on his claims election fraud will be rampant.
WATCH: Trump says election rigged agianst him
Experts urge Clinton to demand recount
Following the presidential election, Clinton, with a popular vote lead of more than two million over Trump, is urged to demand a recount in key states. Prominent analysts, political experts and lawyers join voices to push for recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan along with an investigation into unseen factors at play.
The group presented findings showing that in Wisconsin, Clinton received seven per cent fewer votes in counties that used electronic voting machines, when compared to counties using optical scanning and paper ballots.
Another group lobbies for a Congressional investigation into the possibility of Russian hacking during the election. A letter signed by more than 100 “concerned scholars” outlines their worries.
“We, the undersigned scholars who conduct research on cyber-security, national defense, authoritarian regimes, and free and fair elections, are deeply troubled by reports of hacking by foreign powers apparently intent on influencing our November 2016 elections,” the petition states.
Jill Stein raises $7.3 million to fund recounts
“Election integrity experts independently identified Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as states where ‘statistical anomalies’ raised concerns,” the fundraising page states.
Barack Obama orders ‘deep dive’ into election cyberattack allegations
On Dec. 9, it’s announced President Barack Obama orders intelligence officials to conduct a broad review of election-season cyberattacks.
“We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections,” a White House official states.
CIA says Russia intervened in election: report
The CIA concludes that Russia aimed specifically to help Donald Trump win the presidency, The Washington Post reports on Dec. 9, largely based on circumstancial evidence.
Trump’s transition team swiftly dismissed the report.
A senior U.S. intelligence official told Reuters intelligence agencies have concluded with “high confidence” that not only did their Russian counterparts direct the hacking of Democratic Party organizations and leaders, but they did so to undermine Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Congress calls for investigation into hack
On Dec. 12, Congress announces it will investigate the CIA claims that Russia interfered in the election.
House Speaker Paul Ryan releases a statement saying a House Intelligence Committee probe of cyber threats by other countries and terrorist groups “will continue and has my support.”
Clinton asks for intel from Obama on Russian hacking allegations
Also on Dec. 12, Clinton’s camp states the Obama administration “owes it to the American people” to release information on the Russian hacking allegations.
Ten electors on Monday released an “open letter” to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper requesting information about ongoing investigations on ties between Trump and “Russian government interference in the election.”
With files from the Associated Press
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