'Embarrassment': How Foreign Journalists Reacted to Report on 'Russian Hacking'

The declassified version of the US intelligence report on the Kremlin's supposed meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign in the US through high-profile cyberattacks has apparently left many journalists, including some of Moscow's harshest critics, puzzled, with many saying that the document lacks the evidence to back up its assertions.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald described the publicly available version of the report, titled "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections," as "flimsy."

​Kevin Rothrock, a web editor at The Moscow Times, called the document "an embarrassment."

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​On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a declassified report, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering "an influence campaign" targeting the 2016 presidential election in the US. The US intelligence community has accused Russia of carrying out cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 US presidential campaign.

The document has been criticized for not providing compelling evidence to support its claims, which Moscow has repeatedly denied.

Stephen Hayes, Editor-in-Chief of The Weekly Standard and Fox News contributor, said that the report was "little more than a collection of assertions."

​Shaun Walker, the Moscow correspondent of The Guardian, observed that the report looked like something that a few journalists "compiled over a couple of days, not serious [intelligence] agencies over months."

​"The NYT calls the report 'damning and surprisingly detailed.' We must be reading different reports," the journalist added.

​Former US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, a staunch critic of the Kremlin, noted that the report left many questions unanswered.

​The DNI report released on January 6 is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment provided to US President Barack Obama. The US intelligence community said that the document cannot include "the full supporting information, including specific intelligence and sources and methods" since "the release of such information would reveal sensitive sources or methods and imperil the ability to collect critical foreign intelligence in the future."

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