Intelligence reports claim to have evidence that the Russian government interference played a role in swaying the U.S. election in favor of Trump. How these assertions are substantiated are of substantiated crucial importance.
The first report from the FBI, titled "Russian Malicious Cyber Activity," published Dec. 29, 2016, is an explanatory Joint Analysis Report that links two groups of hackers to the Russian State. The report explains that the way in which the DNC emails and other data were acquired was through an activity called "phishing." It is clear that now "hacking" has not taken place in the stereotypical sense of the word.
John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, was the man whose emails were allegedly acquired by the groups and published through WikiLeaks before the election. The only actual evidence provided by the report is a technical detail called a "Yara signature," however, this piece of information is useless as it is. Even if an IP address was found and linked to Russia it is still not proof that the group was located in Russia, because they might have used several proxy servers to hide their location.
Besides there is no actual evidence provided at all.
In a recent interview with Larry King, John McAffee said: "Any hacker who is capable of breaking into something is extraordinarily capable of hiding their tracks." He also criticized the FBI's ability to protect itself from cyber-attacks, citing the facts that in 2013 the Chinese stole 23 million FBI records and that in 2015 a 15-year-old boy broke into the FBI and published over 30,000 records of FBI agents, including undercover agents.
He went on to say the Chinese or anyone could use Russian tactics or Russian language in the code to make it seem like it was the Russians. "If it looks like the Russians then I can guarantee you that it is not the Russians."
"I just want them to be sure and if you look at the WMDs that was a disaster," Trump said in an interview, referring to the Iraq War.
Most of the interesting parts of the report resort to only speculation.
Julian Assange also weighed in on the matter in a recent exclusive interview with FOX's Sean Hannity. Assange said numerous times during the interview that the Russians could not have been behind the break in the DNC because the WikiLeaks' source "is not the Russian government and it is not a state party." Assange did not give any further details on the matter due to his policy of protecting WikiLeaks' sources.
The only time Assange probably hinted to a WikiLeaks source was in the late summer of 2015 in an interview with the Dutch Nieuwsuur television program, in which he probably suggested that Seth Rich, a DNC employee, was one of WikiLeaks' sources and the DNC emails leakers and was thus murdered because of it.
The second report was published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on Jan. 6, 2017.
This report by the ODNI names Vladimir Putin 31 times, claiming that he "ordered" a campaign of deception and propaganda, in which the Russian Intelligence Services, as well as "RT" and "Sputnik News" including "professional trolls" manipulated the campaign with the goal of subverting the U.S. election, undermining Hillary Clinton and handing Trump the Oval Office.
The oval office insists that the Russians did in fact sway the U.S. election, however Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of 3,000,000 votes but this has been questioned by President Trump on his Twitter account, claiming, "In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
The claims of the U.S. government and the Assange conflict as to the nature of the email sources.
Trump had been a vocal critic of the allegations against Russia, saying his opponents are trying to delegitimize his victory.
He said he thought there was Russian involvement behind the acquisition of the DNC emails, however he went on to say, "but remember this, we talked about the hacking, and hacking's bad, and it shouldn't be done, but look at the things that were hacked, look at what was learned form that hacking," referring to Clinton getting the debate questions, Sanders being deliberately undermined in favor of Clinton in the DNC and Podesta saying "horrible" things about Clinton. Trump went on to say he would have fired Podesta if he was in Clinton's shoes.
Assange, in his interview with Hannity, provides his own explanation as to why the U.S. government is blaming Russia. "Why such a dramatic response?" He said, "The reason is obvious: They are trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House [and are] trying to say the president-elect is not a legitimate president."