(NBC News) For the first time since releasing a detailed report on Russian hacking, top U.S. intelligence officials spoke publicly Tuesday about what they call “an ongoing threat” aimed at the United States and its allies.
The comments came during a Senate Intellegence Committee hearing.
The Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security agency all agree that a “Russian influence campaign” directed by President Vladimir Putin included both covert and overt operations with a very clear aim.
“To undermine public faith in the US democratic process, dengrate Secretary Clinton and harm her potential presidency,” explained Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Officials stressed there is no evidence Russian agents manipulated actual vote counts.
As the hearing took place, a separate bipartisan group of lawmakers announced legislation to punish Russia.
“We need to take steps to make it clear that this type of activity will have consequences,” said Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin.
President-elect Donald Trump has yet to condemn the hacking and hasn’t said whether he will maintain sanctions against Russia after taking office.