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Senate intel committee still looking into Russian Federation

Senate intel committee still looking into Russian Federation”

Richard Burr said that the committee's attempts to meet and contact the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, had been rebuffed.

The committee is one of several that are investigating Russian interference in the election and potential collusion between Russia and associates of the Trump campaign.

While Trump's defenders have dismissed the Steele dossier as a politically-motivated smear, Burr indicated that his committee is still working to evaluate its claims and has not dismissed it outright.

Burr also commented Wednesday on reports from this summer that members of the Trump campaign worked to soften the Republican platform's posture toward Russian Federation, scaling back language related to giving Ukraine lethal defensive aid.

Burr said that the "subject matter of the ads seemed to be to create chaos in every group they could possibly find in America", noting that the ads show that the Russians "were indiscriminate" in who they were helping.

Twitter's presentation "showed an enormous lack of understanding from the Twitter team of how serious this issue is, the threat it poses to democratic institutions and again begs many more questions than they offered", Warner said.

The panel has also extensively interviewed every Obama administration official of interest in the investigation, Burr said.

"We have not come to any determination on collusion or Russia's preferences".

Burr says no vote counts were altered.

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The panel has interviewed everyone that was involved in drafting the campaign platform, he said. "I'm giving you the feedback we got from the individuals who were in the room making the decisions".

Committee officials reportedly believe they can not wait until the probe is completed before emphasizing to the public that Russian Federation will likely interfere again.

"If there was any connection, that would be pertinent to our investigation of Russia's influence in the election", Burr added.

Mark Warner criticized Twitter last week for its response to Russian meddling, calling the company's briefing to congressional investigators "deeply disappointing".

"The committee can not really decide the credibility of the dossier without understanding things like: Who paid for it? Who are your sources and sub sources?"

"The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion", Burr said at a Capitol Hill news conference, standing alongside the committee's top Democrat, Mark Warner of Virginia.

The probe also includes investigating Russian active measures.

Though the two top members of the intelligence panel declined to set a date for the end of their investigation, Burr made it clear he wanted candidates and election officials to benefit from those conclusions before midterm elections.

While Burr sidestepped questions about whether the Russians were trying to help Trump, one of the conclusions the intelligence community found, he warned that the efforts to interfere are still ongoing and must be addressed ahead of the next round of U.S. elections later this year and in 2018. "There needs to be a more aggressive whole-of-government approach in terms of protecting our electoral system". "I was concerned at first that some social media platforms did not take this thread seriously enough", Burr said.



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