As the CIA concludes that Russia tried to help Donald Trump win the presidential election, intelligence officials have released one more intriguing detail: Russian hackers had dirt on the Republican National Committee but never released it, according to a new report. A senior administration official said, “We now have high confidence that they hacked the D.N.C. and the R.N.C., and conspicuously released no documents” from the Republicans, according to the New York Times. Officials said the hacks into the Republican committee took place in the spring, at the same time emails from the Democratic National Committee were stolen by hackers thought to be connected to Russian intelligence. It’s unclear what kind of information was stolen from the RNC, and how much of it, just as the motive is unknown.
Investigators are divided on whether the hackers’ original goal was to support Trump or simply hedge their bets and go from there. President-elect Donald Trump, who has repeatedly shrugged off revelations of Russian interference, doesn’t seem fazed by the conclusion of the RNC hack, despite the fact that any intel gathered by the hackers could be used later. On Friday, Trump’s transition team released a statement dismissing the CIA’s conclusion. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction," the statement said. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”