In a stunning move, National Security Agency Chief Michael S. Rogers recently blamed a “nation-state,” namely Russia, for Wikileaks during the presidential election.
Rogers, speaking at a Washington, D.C. panel for the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, was asked about what he knew about the barrage of leaks. He said:
“This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state in an attempt to achieve a specific effect.”
The latest accusation is one of many claims that Russia was involved with influencing the presidential election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump.
Russian hackers are suspected in several system infiltrations, including the leak of Colin Powell's emails and leaks of nearly one-hundred democratic organizations to DCLeaks.com and Guccifer 2.0, and at least two state voting systems.
Additionally, the Trump campaign's own optics with Russian officials both in front of and behind closed doors didn't do much to dispel the rumors they reportedly had close ties with Russian leadership.
A server was linked almost exclusively to Trump and a Russian bank. The Washington Post has suggested Trump himself has ties to the country, a charge Trump denied. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was deeply entwined with Russian business entities, and was subsequently let go from the campaign after his name appeared on a ledger from Ukraine's pro-Russia party. In addition, loyal Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani also allegedly had business dealings with Russia ,and Lt Gen. Michael Flynn provided analysis for Russia Today and also dined with Vladimir Putin.
And finally, although the Trump campaign denies it, Russian officials have said that they have been in touch with Trump's allies throughout the campaign.
Following Trump's presidential win, Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of several foreign leaders to congratulate the new president-elect on his victory, doing so via telegram; the two men spoke by phone this week, as well, discussing how to improve relations between their two countries.