Since election day, Democrats have engaged in a panicked attempt to leverage their last couple of weeks in control of the executive branch to delegitimize the Trump presidency. Obama has even gone so far as to order a “full report” on Russian tampering in the 2016 election cycle to be completed before he leaves office (see “A “Soft Coup” Attempt: Furious Trump Slams “Secret” CIA Report Russia Helped Him Win“). Of course, we should simply ignore the fact that a true investigation of such allegations would take much longer than the one month that Obama has left in office because any delay could run the risk of a bipartisan/independent review and that’s just not how the Obama administration plays the game.
But at least one investigative agency, the FBI, isn’t buying the “fuzzy and ambiguous” assertions from the CIA that Russia “quite” clearly meddled in the U.S. elections on behalf of the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, the FBI’s unwillingness to play along is infuriating Democrats. Per the BizPac Review:
The FBI did not corroborate the CIA’s claim that Russia had a hand in the election of President-elect Donald Trump in a meeting with lawmakers last week.
A senior FBI counterintelligence official met with Republican and Democrat members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in order to give the bureau’s view of a recent CIA report. The official did not concur with the CIA, frustrating Democrats.
The CIA believes Russia “quite” clearly intended to send Trump to the White House. The claim is a bold one and concerned Democrats and some Republicans who are worried about Trump’s desire to mend relations with an increasingly aggressive Russia. The CIA report was “direct, bold and unqualified,” one of the officials at the meeting told The Washington Post Saturday.
The FBI official was much less convinced of the claims, providing “fuzzy” and “ambiguous” remarks.
The Washington Post compiled the following comments from the weekend talk show circuit highlighting where various DC players stand on the Russia allegations.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post also points out that the whole disagreement likely comes down to “cultural” differences between the FBI and CIA. Apparently the FBI “wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something” while the CIA is “more comfortable drawing inferences.”
The competing messages, according to officials in attendance, also reflect cultural differences between the FBI and the CIA. The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.
“The FBI briefers think in terms of criminal standards — can we prove this in court,” one of the officials said. “The CIA briefers weigh the preponderance of intelligence and then make judgment calls to help policymakers make informed decisions. High confidence for them means ‘we’re pretty damn sure.’ It doesn’t mean they can prove it in court.”
The FBI is not sold on the idea that Russia had a particular aim in its meddling. “There’s no question that [the Russians’] efforts went one way, but it’s not clear that they have a specific goal or mix of related goals,” said one U.S. official.
Well, that certainly seems reasonable…who needs “facts and tangible evidence” when the CIA can just “draw inferences“…they’re supposedly really smart so we should probably just believe them.