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Senate Intel Leaders Say Ongoing Russia Probe Has Expanded

05 October 2017

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

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), the committee chairman, and Sen.

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. But he added that the 2016 election demonstrated "the Russian intelligence service is determined, clever and I recommend every campaign and every elected official take this seriously".

Burr also commented on the committee's investigation of memos written by former FBI Director James Comey after various meetings with Trump that critics said showed obstruction of justice on the part of the president, who fired Comey amid an FBI investigation of collusion by Trump.

Burr ticked off the areas of possible collusion the committee had already probed, and also issued a blanket threat to future witnesses that they should testify voluntarily or face a subpoena. "If we use exclusively the social media advertising that we've seen, there is no way that you can look at that and say that that was to help the right side of the ideological chart and not the left, or vice versa", North Carolina Sen. "They were indiscriminate", Burr said.

Burr said Senate investigators have interviewed 100 people, with another 25 interviews scheduled.

Federal authorities notified 21 states last month that their election systems had been targeted by Russian government hackers during the 2016 election - a year after the efforts were first discovered.

The declassified version of the intelligence community's report said "Russia's goals" in meddling in the election "were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate" Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and "harm her electability and potential presidency".

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"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice into the creation of the intelligence community assessment", Burr said.

Burr said, however, that there was still much more work to do, even as he hoped to finish the investigation by the end of the calendar year.

The Senate intelligence committee is still into whether Russian Federation colluded with Trump campaign advisers to influence the 2016 election, the panel's chairman has said.

Facebook has handed over 3,000 ads that are believed to have been linked to a shadowy Russian entity called the Internet Research Agency, and Facebook staff have been interviewed by committee staff.

He said that the "facts of Russia's involvement in the election" must be made public before the political campaigns begin for the November 2018 US general elections.

The investigation also found that Russian agents manipulated social media through paid ads and false accounts used to drive interest in active measures meant to sow chaos and division.

Trump was told by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey that Steele's report contained salacious material about the businessman-turned-president.

Senate Intel Leaders Say Ongoing Russia Probe Has Expanded