US intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia intervened in the US presidential election to help Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the US electoral system, a senior US official says.
US intelligence agencies have assessed that as the 2016 presidential campaign progressed, Russian government officials devoted increasing attention to assisting Trump's effort to win the election, the US official familiar with the finding told Reuters on Friday night, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The President-elect's transition office released a statement that exaggerated his margin of victory and attacked the US intelligence community that Trump will soon command, but did not address the analysts' conclusion.
"These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein has 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.'"
Democrats and some Republicans in Congress are calling for a full investigation into Russia's election year activities.
"Protecting the integrity of our elections is hindered when President-elect Trump and his transition team minimise or dismiss the intelligence assessments themselves," Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said in a statement issued on Saturday.
Citing US officials briefed on the matter, the Washington Post reported on Friday that intelligence agencies had identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including the chairman of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, to WikiLeaks.
US President Barack Obama has ordered intelligence agencies to review cyber attacks and foreign intervention into the 2016 election and deliver a report before he leaves office on January 20, the White House said on Friday.
Obama's homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters the report's results would be shared with lawmakers and others.
As summer turned to fall, Russian hackers turned almost all their attention to the Democrats. Virtually all the emails they released publicly were potentially damaging to Clinton and the Democrats, not Republicans, the official told Reuters.
US intelligence analysts have assessed "with high confidence" that at some point in the extended presidential campaign Russian President Vladimir Putin's government had decided to try to bolster Trump's chances of winning.