Sen. Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, on Tuesday said he had no reason to doubt findings by U.S. intelligence communities that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 presidential election, Politico reports.
"(I have) no reason to doubt the findings contained within the product," Burr said during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on assessing Russia's activities and intentions in the election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
The hearing comes on the heels of a damning report released last week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence accusing the Russian government of meddling with the election.
The FBI, CIA and NSA shared the belief that, "Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump's election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him," read the report, conducted at the direction of President Barack Obama.
Burr, though, also said the panel would launch its own investigation to assess "the sourcing behind the report" and at the hearing asked top intelligence leaders to hand over any available information that led them to the findings in their report.
"I want to assure my colleagues on this committee and in this body that we will follow the intelligence wherever it leads, and we will conduct this review in a non-partisan manner," Burr said.
Trump initially discredited the findings but, after meeting with intelligence officials and reviewing a classified version of the document, told reporters he accepts the conclusion.
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