There is mounting evidence that the Russian government is supplying WikiLeaks with hacked emails pertaining to the US presidential election, US officials familiar with the investigation have told CNN.
As WikiLeaks continues to publish emails belonging to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, US officials told CNN that there is growing evidence that Russia is using the organization as a delivery vehicle for the messages and other stolen information.
The methods of the disclosures “suggest Moscow is at least providing the information or is possibly directly responsible for the leaks,” one US official said.
US intelligence officials are still investigating the degree of connection between Russia and WikiLeaks but they remain confident that Russia is behind the leaks themselves.
CNN attempted to reach WikiLeaks for comment but received no response. WikiLeaks’s founder, Julian Assange, has previously denied any connection to or cooperation with Russia.
On Friday, former Acting CIA Director Mike Morrell said on a conference call organized by the Clinton campaign that it was “absolutely clear … WikiLeaks and Guccifer 2 are working with the Russians on this.”
Russia’s highest officials are dismissing accusations that Moscow is trying to sway the US presidential election with cyber attacks, speaking out before the latest accusation concerning WikiLeaks was shared with CNN on Thursday.
President Vladimir Putin ridiculed such talk Wednesday as “hysteria.”
“Let them prove it,” Sergei Lavrov told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, waving off a US vow to retaliate with a “proportional response.”
“If they decided to do something, let them do it,” Lavrov told Amanpour. “But to say that Russia is interfering in the United States domestic matters is ridiculous.”
The Director of National Intelligence — representing 19 US intelligence agencies — and the Department of Homeland Security leveled unambiguous charges against Russia on Friday. And the comments from Moscow did little to quell the growing criticism of Russia Wednesday from the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“The kinds of disclosures that we’ve seen, including at WikiLeaks, of stolen e-mails from people who play an important role in our political process is consistent with Russian- directed efforts,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
Podesta, whose emails are being published by WikiLeaks, also pointed the finger at Russia.
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SOURCE: CNN, Jim Sciutto, Nicole Gaouette and Ryan Browne