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Former CIA Chief Brennan says Russia changed minds of voters in 2016 presidential election

Former CIA Director John Brennan (Pete Souza/The White House)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Former CIA Director John Brennan took findings from his country’s intelligence agencies a step further by saying that at least one voter was persuaded as a result of Russia’s 2016 presidential election interference machinations, but refrained from concluding that the operation influenced the vote’s outcome.

Speaking to the National Press Club in Washington on October 30, Brennan said he was “sure, personally, that those Russian efforts changed the mind of at least one voter.”

“Whether it was one voter or a million voters, I don’t know,” he said at the event alongside former intelligence figures.

Brennan served as CIA director under Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration in 2013-2017.

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A number of official investigations have concluded that Russian hackers and trolls were behind a campaign to hack, leak, and influence public opinion through various channels ahead of the 2016 election.

The Kremlin has denied interfering in the political contest.

Brennan said he was convinced the campaign had some kind of effect, perhaps on the final result.

“How many, in which states, I don’t know. Whether it changed the outcome, I don’t know,” Brennan said, while adding that the CIA “didn’t assess” the impact the campaign had on the vote.