The experts got it wrong again.
Figures within the U.S intelligence community are rushing to walk back reports that the intel community has concluded Russia is waging election interference operations with the express intent of re-electing President Donald Trump and boosting the campaign of Democratic frontrunner.
Reports of the intel community’s purported conclusion on the matter surfaced days ago, when the Washington Post reported that the entity had briefed the campaign of Bernie Sanders on Russian attempts to assist his candidacy.
Now, national security officials have sought to clarify the matter, explaining to CNN that the individual tasked with providing Sanders a brief on the topic “overstated” the intelligence community’s beliefs.
The vaguely defined intelligence community apparently has concluded that Russia is orchestrating purported interference campaigns in the election. But it’s much less clear if Russia is explicitly looking to re-elect Trump as President.
Two intelligence community officials who spoke to CNN described the leading media characterization of intelligence on Russian interference as poor. One said it “lacked nuance,” and another outright described it as “misleading.
“A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it’s a step short of that. It’s more that they understand the President is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker,” one bureaucrat was quoted as saying by CNN.
Reports of wide-ranging Russian interference have proven as wildly unreliable as any widely-reported on story in the American political press in the last four years. After Robert Mueller’s dramatic and seemingly endless probe ended in an outright flop- failing to produce evidence of any “collusion” between the Trump campaign and questionably impactful Russian social media trolling operations, it’s safe to say anything the mainstream media reports on the unending conspiracy should be treated with skepticism.