NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s repeated assertions that Russia is behind a “massive” hacking campaign that is designed to help him win re-election have given the Kremlin the ammunition to assert that it is interfering in the U.S. election, according to multiple U.N. reports.
The Trump administration’s refusal to publicly acknowledge that the U:S.
has been hacked by Russia has put Russia in the position of trying to portray itself as the victim, the U,S.
and its allies say.
Trump has also been accused of using the attacks to distract from the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.
“We’re now seeing a lot of the Russians taking a look at what’s going on, the fact that the president is not giving the facts,” said William Burns, a former national security adviser to Democratic President Barack Obama.
“And it’s not good.”
Burns was one of several former U.
Ns. officials who have called on Trump to release the evidence he has publicly claimed Russia is involved in.
The U.K. and Canada have also released reports claiming Russia has targeted Republican senators in recent weeks, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was critical of Trump’s policies during the campaign.
Trump’s claims that Russia was responsible for the attacks were first reported by NBC News and The Washington Post.
But Trump’s denial, which has been criticized by U.s. intelligence officials, was widely rejected by others in the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence, who has said the president was right to accuse Russia.
The reports, published Thursday, show that a Russian intelligence agency has been conducting sophisticated hacking operations targeting Democratic Party officials and political organizations in recent years, including Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
The hacks, the officials said, are intended to help Trump win the White House and undermine the Democratic Party.
Russia’s actions have been described by U.-S.
intelligence analysts as the most sophisticated foreign cyber-operations against a U. S. political figure since the end of the Cold War.
“The Russian government has long sought to undermine our democratic institutions and sow doubt about our democratic process,” Pence said at a press conference Friday.
“It is an affront to our democracy that the Trump administration is willing to deny this.”
Burns said the Trump White House should take a hard look at the evidence to see if there is a clear link between the attacks and the U.:Russia’s actions and actions by the Trump campaign have been in keeping with its longstanding pattern of targeting democratic institutions around the world, Burns said.
“If we’re going to look for evidence that Russia has tried to affect the election, we need to see concrete evidence that we’re seeing this in action,” Burns said, adding that the White Trump team is “not going to get away with this.”
Trump’s claim that Russia, which is not a party to the U.-N.
nuclear agreement, has been targeting Republicans has been disputed by several Republicans.
“Trump’s baseless claim that Putin is trying to hack our election is laughable and reckless,” said Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.
“Putin has a history of interfering in U. s. elections, including with the 2016 U. N. election and the presidential election in 2016.”
“This is why it is absolutely critical that the administration immediately release the documents that are necessary to verify the validity of the claims,” Rubio said in a statement.
“Our elections are under threat from Russia’s efforts to manipulate our political system.”
Burns told NBC News that the intelligence community was still analyzing the claims, but that “there are many indicators that Russia targeted Republican candidates in the election” and “that this is why there is such concern about the credibility of this claim.”
Burns added that the reports were also troubling because of the impact the attacks could have on the upcoming election, including on the U-S.
military and national security apparatus.
“This would be an extraordinary assault on our military and our nation’s security,” Burns added.
The latest U.n. report, which was released Friday, is the latest to show evidence that the Kremlin has been attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The report by the National Security Council (NSC), the executive arm of the president’s Cabinet, said that Russian intelligence services have targeted at least one of the top Republican officials in the party, Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, and at least three senior Democrats, including U. Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado.
The NSC said the Russian intelligence agencies have also targeted Democratic officials in Washington, including Sens.
Dianne Feinstein of California, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Joe Biden of Delaware.
The CIA also confirmed that it has been in contact with Russian intelligence, which it has attributed to the country’s military intelligence service.
“These Russian efforts are aimed at the U;s election, to sow doubt among voters and sow discord among Democrats, who are the only party that can stop Putin,” the report said.