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The Senate Intelligence Committee will not release Russian-bought Facebook ads

05 October 2017

Mark Warner, the intelligence committee's vice chairman - held the press conference Wednesday to discuss the progress the committee has made in its Russian Federation meddling investigation.

Burr said that, although Russian Federation had meddled in the election, he can say "certifiably" that no vote totals were altered as a result.

Whether aides to President Donald Trump's presidential campaign collaborated in a Russian campaign to steal and leak documents damaging to his opponents has emerged as a central question to Federal Bureau of Investigation and congressional investigators, an idea that Trump has dismissed as a hoax. That question won't be answered by the Senate committee until the criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller concludes.

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

Burr, along with the panel's top Democrat, Virginia Sen.

Facebook and Twitter have each agreed to appear before US lawmakers and testify publicly as part of a congressional probe into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election.

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The committee, Burr said, has determined that the Russian involvement in buying ads on social media was "indiscriminate" and did not benefit "one side of the ideological spectrum or the other".

At the news conference, Burr said one witness the lawmakers had been unable to question is Christopher Steele, a former British spy believed to have compiled a dossier of unsubstantiated allegations about Trump connections to Russian Federation.

The dossier includes details about an alleged quid-pro-quo in which Russia agreed to leak the hacked Democratic National Committee emails to WikiLeaks in exchange for the Trump campaign sidelining Russian aggression in Ukraine as a campaign issue.

"We know the Russian meddling did not end after the elections". He said Russian hackers had also tested the vulnerabilities of election systems in 21 states, though there's no evidence that any voting tallies were altered. The source also said, as NBC reported, that Russian ads appeared to be aimed at states where there had been violent clashes between police and African Americans over police shootings of black people.

LUCAS: Facebook handed over copies of 3,000 Russia-linked ads to the committee this week.

But he said members had not ruled out that the committee's interpretation could in some areas be different.

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The statement came immediately after, and appeared to be a rebuke of the vice chairman of the committee, Sen.

"The Senate Intelligence Committee does not release documents provided by witnesses, companies - whoever, whatever the classification, it's not a practice that we're going to get into", Burr said, echoing similar comments he had made previously.

The question of collusion is not expected to be one of the things the committee is closing the book on yet.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Google, Facebook and Twitter officials to appear at a public hearing on November 1.

That announcement came on the heels of the White House being embarrassed by an NBC News report that said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson nearly quit his post in July and had also referred to Trump as a "moron" at a Pentagon meeting.

The U.S. intelligence community has said they took the allegations made in the dossier seriously.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee will not release Russian-bought Facebook ads