The report is expected to be finished before the president leaves office in January.
President Barack Obama on Friday ordered US intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation of Russia’s involvement in computer hacks during the 2016 presidential election.
The investigation will center on the hacks that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has already accused Russia of orchestrating, the New York Times reports, including a breach of Democratic National Committee computers in September.
The report is expected to be finished by the time President Obama leaves office in January, according to the Times, although it is unclear if it will be made public.
“The President has directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process,” White House Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser Lisa Monaco told reporters, according to CNN. “It is to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders.”
The FBI is still investigating the hacks, which in addition to the DNC also targeted Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
In October, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it was “confident” that the Russian government was behind the hacks. Russia’s motive, it said, was to “interfere with the US election process.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied his country’s involvement in the hacks.
The Russian Foreign Ministry repeated that denial following Friday’s announcement, claiming that the US has offered no evidence to support its claims.
“We are also very interested in understanding what they accused Russia of,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told CNN. “Many times the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Lavrov have asked Americans to provide full information.
But never had any response.”
The DNC hackers stole a trove of emails, which were eventually released by Wikileaks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention this past summer. Wikileaks chief Julian Assange has refused to divulge where his organization got the emails.
President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican, has also expressed skepticism that Russia was behind the attacks, breaking with other members of his party who have called for President Obama to be tougher on Russia. Rep.
Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, renewed those calls following today’s announcement.
“Unfortunately the Obama administration, dedicated to delusions of ‘resetting’ relations with Russia, ignored pleas by numerous Intelligence Committee members to take more forceful action against the Kremlin’s aggression,” Rep. Nunes said in a statement. “It appears, however, that after eight years the administration has suddenly awoken to the threat.”