WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Sen. Jack Reed says he’s pleased that President Barack Obama has ordered a review into potential hacking by Russia meant to influence the 2016 election.
The Rhode Island lawmaker is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He says the committee plans to hold an inquiry next year into Russia’s cyber threats to the military and other institutions.
Reed said the hearing could help shed light on suspected Russia interference in the U.S. election. He said the country shouldn’t allow any attacks on its democratic systems to go unchecked.
“The American people deserve to know whether outside forces were working to undermine our electoral system or influence voters, and I hope the results of this review may be made public without jeopardizing intelligence sources or methods,” Reed said in a statement Friday.
Reed sent a letter to Obama last month calling for him to declassify more information about Russia’s apparent involvement in the election. The letter was signed by six other senators who serve on the Intelligence Committee.
Reed also praised Sen. John McCain for his willingness to tackle the issue in a bipartisan manner The Arizona Republican is chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Reed said other congressional committees have said they may investigate reports of Russian hacking.
On Saturday, Donald Trump’s presidential transition team pushed back against reports that Russia was caught trying to tip the November election to the Republican. The Trump team also challenged the veracity of U.S. intelligence agencies investigating the cyberattacks.
The CIA has now concluded with “high confidence” that Moscow was not only interfering with the election, but that its actions were intended to help Trump, according to a senior U.S. official, who was not authorized to discuss the private intelligence assessment publicly and insisted on anonymity
The assessment is based in part on evidence that Russian actors had hacked Republicans as well as Democrats but were only releasing information harmful to Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
In a statement late Friday, Trump’s transition team said the finger-pointing at Russia was coming from “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” On Saturday, spokesman Sean Spicer told CNN there were “people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election.”