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Senate Intel Committee Contradicts Trump: Russia's Election Meddling Not a Hoax

05 October 2017

A US Senate committee has said there is consensus that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election, but the issue of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign team and Moscow is "still open".

Targeting two pivotal swing states with social-media ads suggests a degree of sophistication by Russian actors in one aspect of what the USA intelligence community has described as a widespread cyber-interference effort in the 2016 US campaign.

The Senate intelligence committee is still into whether Russian Federation colluded with Trump campaign advisers to influence the 2016 election, the panel's chairman has said.

The dossier contains unproven allegations of misconduct by Trump and his campaign as well as collusion between it and the Russian government ahead of the US election.

Russian ads on Facebook targeted Americans in a number of states including Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin.

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The company made the announcement after turning over 3,000 ads to congressional investigators examining Russian interference in the USA election. Facebook surrendered the content of thousands of ads to Congress this week and it has acknowledged that some 10 million Americans may have seen them from 2015 to earlier this year.

"The issue of collusion is still open", said the Republican committee chairman, Sen. "I'm not going to even discuss initial findings because we haven't any", Burr said.

Burr made it clear that his committee could not release the ads that Facebook handed over as part of the investigation but Facebook and the other companies are not constrained by the committee from doing so.

The Intelligence Committee also has "reached a logical end" to its pursuit of information about Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey.

"The overall theme of the Russian involvement in the USA elections was to create chaos at every level", he said. Clearly if any of the social media platforms would like to do that, we're fine with them doing it because we've already got scheduled an open hearing.

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While both Burr and Vice Chairman Sen. "They were indiscriminate", Burr said.

"The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion", Burr told reporters during a press conference regarding the status of the Russian Federation investigation Wednesday afternoon. "If we use exclusively the social media advertising that we've seen, there is no way that you can look at that and say that that was to help the right side of the ideological chart and not the left, or vice versa", North Carolina Sen.

Warner said that the tech giants were beginning to take the issue of Russian meddling more seriously, and that they were "seeing increasing levels of cooperation".

Burr said his committee had also "hit a wall" on the credibility of the "Steele dossier" - a private intelligence report written by former British spy Christopher Steele, who Burr said has refused to meet with the committee.

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Senate Intel Committee Contradicts Trump: Russia's Election Meddling Not a Hoax