Issue of Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation 'still open'

The top portion of Facebook's Oct. 4 2017 New York Times

Senator Mark Warner (Democrat-Virginia), the deputy chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said there is a "consensus" that the Russians "hacked into [U.S.] political files" and released information in an effort "to sway the election". But, he added, "Clearly if any of the social media platforms would like to do that, we're fine with them doing it because we've already got scheduled an open hearing because we believe the American people deserve to hear firsthand".

The committee generally endorses the intelligence community's conclusions, he said.

A spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller declined comment. Burr said the committee "cannot decide the credibility" of the dossier without understanding who paid for it and its sources.

So far, investigators have conducted more than 250 hours of interviews, produced over 4,000 transcript pages and reviewed more than 100,000 pages of documents. Burr said he does not intend to release those ads.

"We know the Russian meddling did not end after the elections". "I'm not going to even discuss initial findings, because we haven't any".

Facebook won't publicly release the roughly 3,000 ads linked to Russian Federation on its platform despite calls to do so by the US Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, a person close to the company told Business Insider.

Warner said that representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google have been invited to testify at a November 1 public hearing before the committee.




News of those 3,000 ads came a month after Facebook revealed it had discovered 450 accounts and about $100,000 in ad spending linked to Russian Federation on divisive issues during the USA presidential campaign.

Also questioned were senior executives of social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter, which displayed numerous Russian-supported advertisements that were meant to exacerbate divisions among voters on hot-button issues before the election.

"I think at the end of the day it's important that the public see these ads", said Warner, the intelligence committee's vice chairman.

But Warner said that the Russians used social media firms by creating false accounts that "would drive interest toward stories and groups to sow chaos and division in our country".

The special counsel investigating whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 USA election has taken over Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiries into a former British spy's dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to President Donald Trump's campaign and associates, sources familiar with the inquiry told Reuters.

"I also strongly believe that the RT ads on Twitter should be made public; a review of a representative sample reveals that they are nearly entirely created to push Russian news coverage adverse to Secretary Clinton's campaign", said Schiff in a statement. The committee has asked executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google to appear before it on 1 November, and Facebook announced on Wednesday that it would attend. "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", Burr added.

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