Democratic congressman Scott Peters (San Diego) issued a statement Friday on the declassified report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence regarding Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. It reads:
“This report is unambiguous in its assessment that Russian interference in our election was directed by Vladimir Putin, enabled by Wikileaks, and sought to undermine the legitimacy of our electoral process in order to tip the scales in favor of Mr. Putin’s preferred candidate. These actions are without precedent, and should alarm every American.
“We don’t know if Russian interference affected the outcome of the election. I am not seeking to overturn the Electoral College results certified by Congress today. However, we do know that our freedom and democracy have been attacked, and that these actions warrant a formidable response that imposes tremendous costs on those responsible.
“The best and brightest of our intelligence community – many who risk their lives in defense of our nation and deserve our respect and trust – have done their duty and provided us with this assessment. Now is the time to stand together as patriots in a bipartisan defense of our democracy to ensure that this never happens again.”
The report, a declassified version of a more detailed classified one, asserts that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a secret campaign to influence the election in favor of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
Despite consensus in the intelligence community of Russia’s involvement in the hacking, President-elect Donald Trump has been resistant in accepting officials’ allegations.
Trump was given the classified report Friday, and although he said he “learned a lot” he declined to say whether he agrees with the assessment in a brief interview with the Associated Press.
“I learned a lot and I think they did also,” he said.
Trump has challenged the intelligence community since winning the election.
Congressman Peters is an original co-sponsor of the Protect Our Democracy Act, introduced Friday, that would create a National Commission on Foreign Interference in the 2016 Election to allow for a full congressional investigation unimpeded by partisanship.
Peters is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and House Judiciary Committee.