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Rubio Statement on Senate Intel Committee Report Examining the Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Interference

Apr 21, 2020 | Press Releases

Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), released the following statement regarding SSCI’s report titled, “Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment,” the fourth volume in the Committee’s bipartisan investigation into Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections.
“The fourth volume of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan report reviews the process and conclusions of the 2017 Intelligence Community’s Assessment into Russian meddling in the 2016 general election,” Rubio said. “Policymakers rely on unbiased intelligence assessments to make sound decisions, and the work of our nation’s Intelligence Community remains an irreplaceable component of our national defense. This report is yet another stark reminder of the threat foreign adversaries pose to our elections and the need to remain vigilant as we approach election season this November.”
The latest installment examines the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work behind the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) that determined Russia conducted an unprecedented, multi-faceted campaign to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The installment builds upon the Committee’s unclassified summary findings on the ICA issued in July 2018.
The ICA is informed by highly sensitive sources. In its review of that information, the Committee sought to protect the methods and means by which the U.S. Intelligence Community secured this information. In order to protect sources and methods, the vast majority of this chapter is redacted.
To date, the Committee has released four out of a total of five volumes in its comprehensive report on Russia’s 2016 election interference. The previously released volumes examined U.S. election security, Russia’s use of social media, and the Obama Administration’s response to Russian interference. The fifth and final volume will examine the Committee’s counterintelligence findings.
You can read, “Volume IV: Review of Intelligence Community Assessmenthere.
Key Findings:

  • The Committee finds the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) presents a coherent and well-constructed intelligence basis for the case that Russia engaged in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The Committee concludes that all analytic lines are supported with all-source intelligence, that the ICA reflects proper analytic tradecraft, and that differing levels of confidence on one analytic judgment are justified and properly represented. Additionally, interviews with those who drafted and prepared the ICA affirmed that analysts were under no political pressure to reach specific conclusions.


  • The Committee finds that the ICA reflects a proper representation of the intelligence collected and that this body of evidence supports the substance and body of the ICA. While the Intelligence Community did not include information provided by Christopher Steele in the body of the ICA or to support any of its analytical judgments, it did include a summary of this material in an annex —largely at the insistence of FBI’s senior leadership. A broader discussion of the Steele dossier will be included in the final volume of the Committee’s report.


  • The Committee finds that the ICA makes a clear argument that the manner and aggressiveness of Russia’s election interference was unprecedented. However, the ICA does not include substantial representation of Russia’s interference attempts in 2008 and 2012.


  • The Committee finds that the ICA did not include a set of policy recommendations for responding to Russia’s interference attempts. This omission was deliberate, reflecting the well-established norm that the role of the Intelligence Community is to provide insight and warning to policy makers, not to make policy itself.


  • The Committee finds the ICA would have benefited from a more comprehensive look at the role of Russian propaganda generated by state-owned platforms in the multi-pronged interference campaign. Open source reporting on RT’s and Sputnik’s coverage of Wikileaks’ release of information from the Democratic National Committee would have strengthened the ICA’s examination of Russia’s use of propaganda.

Read the Senate Intelligence Committee’s previous reports:
Volume I: Russian Efforts Against Election Infrastructure
Volume II: Russia’s Use of Social Media
Volume III: U.S. Government Response to Russian Activities
Volume IV: Review of the Intelligence Community Assessment