U.S. media are reporting that U.S. intelligence agencies have identified the Russians they say provided hacked e-mails to WikiLeaks in an effort to influence the November presidential election.
The Washington Post and Reuters reported on January 5 that the CIA has identified Russian officials who fed material hacked from the Democratic National Committee and party leaders to WikiLeaks at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin via third parties.
Reuters said the findings are contained in a secret briefing document intelligence agencies gave to President Barack Obama on January 5 and are scheduled to give to President-elect Donald Trump on January 6.
The findings are important because WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied getting the leaks from Russians and Trump has pointed to Assange's denials in saying he doubts Russia was involved.
Reuters said hacked material in some cases followed "a circuitous route" from the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency, to WikiLeaks in an attempt to make the origins of the material harder to trace, a common practice used by all spy agencies.
These handoffs enabled WikiLeaks to say the Russian government was not the source of the material published on its website, Reuters said.