Senate Intel committee calls on Facebook to release Russian ads

Senate Intel committee calls on Facebook to release Russian ads

Senate Intel committee calls on Facebook to release Russian ads

The question remains "open" as to whether any Americans colluded with the Russian influence-mongers who interfered with the 2016 presidential election, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday.

Two officials familiar with the investigations said that both Mueller's team and the Senate Intelligence Committee are seeking any evidence that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort or others who had financial dealings with Russian Federation might have helped Kremlin intelligence agencies target email hacking and social media postings undermining Trump's election opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Regarding where the committee's investigation stands, Burr said his team continues to pursue whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation, adding: "I'm not going to even discuss initial findings because we haven't any".

Saying that collusion between Russian Federation and Trump campaign was a "concern we continue to pursue", both senators confirmed they were expanding that area of their probe while adding that Russian Federation used paid advertisements "and created false social media accounts to drive divisions". CNN reported Wednesday that some of the ads specifically targeted MI and Wisconsin, two states that were critical to President Donald Trump's victory.

Warner said that the committee's investigation has revealed "strains and threads that we need to continue to pursue" and added that Russian interference "did not end on election day".

On Sept 23, he tweeted, "The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook".

Sen. Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said the committee has exhausted its probe of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey's emails.

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice into the creation of the intelligence community assessment", Burr said.

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The committee's consensus view is not its final finding, Burr said, and the question will remaining open until the committee's investigation is complete, which could take many more months.

"I fear if you add up all those things it was a decent rate of return", Warner said.

CNN reported earlier this year that US intelligence officials collaborated some aspects of Christopher Steele's findings though not some of the more salacious allegations like the link between Trump and Russian prostitutes.

Warner was initially concerned that social media companies "did not take this threat seriously enough", but said that he has been seeing greater levels of cooperation.

Regarding the memos that James Comey, the former FBI director, wrote about Trump's attempts to end the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, Burr said "the committee is satisfied that this issue has reached a logical end" as it related to the committee's Russian Federation investigation.

Burr said the Russian intelligence service is "committed and clever".

"There will be more forensics done by these companies", Warner said.

For its part, Facebook tried to get ahead of Wednesday's press briefing, printing a full page ad in the Washington Post as damage control for whatever Burr and Warner said about the company's role in the election and its interactions with the committee.

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