A US Senate committee has said there is consensus that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 presidential election, but the issue of collusion between Donald Trump's campaign team and Moscow is "still open". Burr said that based on the committee's findings, there is evidence that Russian Federation wanted to "create chaos at every level" during this past year's election.
The top lawmakers on the Senate Intelligence Committee warned Wednesday that Russian Federation will keep trying to influence American elections next year and beyond. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, warned that the investigation has indicated that Russian agents are continuing efforts to influence results at the ballot box.
Warner also said that the Russian intelligence service activities did not end with the USA presidential election on November 8 and that similar acts continued ahead of political elections in Montenegro, Belgium, France, and Germany.
Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort was interviewed, as was senior White House adviser Jared Kushner, who also is Trump's son-in-law. Burr said that the committee would ideally finish the investigation before congressional primaries begin next spring, but said he couldn't put a firm deadline on the probe because they are always finding new lines of inquiry.
While both Burr and Vice Chairman Sen.
Burr said Monday that he was opposed to releasing the advertisements publicly because he believes "no investigative body should be the source of sensitive documents, and I consider any document for this investigation sensitive".
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"We haven't even had our hearing yet", he said.
Burr said Senate investigators have interviewed 100 people, with another 25 interviews scheduled. Some of the Russian-bought Facebook ads specifically targeted swing states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida, as well as other states whose Electoral College votes were not truly contested during the election, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.
Russians or their operatives were buying public ads aimed at amplifying political division in the US, or using fake accounts, disguised as Americans, to openly throw fuel on hot controversies.
The social media companies have recently met with the committee and turned over information about ad purchases made by Russia-linked operatives, including RT and Sputnik, two news outlets controlled by the Kremlin. Facebook said Wednesday that it had accepted invitations from both committees. Trump has called the report false.
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday largely endorsed the findings of the intelligence community that Russian Federation sought to sway the 2016 US elections through a hacking and influence campaign, and they called for a "more aggressive, whole-of-government approach" to ensure future elections aren't similarly compromised.
Facebook is set to testify at a Senate hearing on Russia's interference and its role next month.