DIFFERENT TUNE

Report: Comey Told White House It Was Too Political to Blame Russia

FBI Director James B. Comey reportedly advised the White House not to publicly accuse Russia of involvement in the Democratic Party email network hacks over the past few months, for fear that it would make the administration appear inappropriately partisan in the days leading up to the presidential election. The Washington Post reports, based on sources “familiar with the deliberations,” that Comey eventually supported the administration’s decision to blame Russia only if it did not publicly explain the FBI’s role in the investigation. After Comey’s caution about electoral interference, some insiders were puzzled when he announced Friday that the FBI would examine new emails in the Hillary Clinton investigation, just 11 days before the election. “It’s really hard to square,” an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said. In an Oct. 7 statement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence formally blamed Russia for attempting to interfere in the U.S. election. The statement said: “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”

The New York Times reported Monday evening that law-enforcement investigations into a tie between Russia and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump have been inconclusive. No direct link has been found.