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Hillary Clinton criticizes British government for delaying release of Russia report

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

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

Hillary Clinton has called the British government’s decision not to publish a parliamentary report on Russian influence in the country’s politics “inexplicable and shameful.”

Clinton, the unsuccessful U.S. presidential candidate in 2016, on November 12 said the public needs to know the findings of Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee before voters go to the polls for the British general elections on December 12.

Clinton’s comments, in an interview with the BBC, were published as Britain’s opposition Labour Party said it had been hit by two cyberattacks.

In her interview, Clinton said she was “dumbfounded” that the British government won’t release the parliamentary report on Russia “because every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens.”

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“There is no doubt…that Russia in particular is determined to try to shape the politics of Western democracies, not to our benefit but to theirs.”

The report has been cleared for release by the security services, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office has not given approval for it to be made public.

The British government has said it needs more time to review the report for national security implications before it is released.

Critics claim the government is withholding the report until after the election because it is embarrassing to Johnson’s Conservative Party, which is seeking to win a parliamentary majority to push through Johnson’s Brexit plan to take Britain out of the European Union.

A report released in April by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller corroborated intelligence conclusions that Russia meddled in the 2016 U.S. election campaign to help Republican Donald Trump and hurt Democrat Clinton through a variety of methods, including the use of social media.

Moscow has denied it interfered in the U.S. election, and Trump has denied he colluded with Russian sources to meddle in the process.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Labour Party early on November 12 said its online platforms were hit by a “sophisticated and large-scale” cyberattack that failed to breach its security systems.

Then, hours later, the party’s website and other online services came under a second distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a technique used to take down websites by overwhelming them with traffic.

The BBC quoted sources as saying the November 11 assault was not linked to a state, after a Labour source said that attacks came from computers in Russia and Brazil.