Report: U.S. officials investigating Russia's attempts to influence 2016 election

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 31: The gates of Kremlin and the Kremlin are pictured on October 31, 2013 in Moscow, Russia (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Andreas Rentz, Getty Images

Intelligence and law enforcement officials are investigating how and to what extent Russia is attempting to influence the United States presidential election, according to a new report.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the new probe is underway with James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, heading the efforts.

“This is something of concern for the DNI,” Charles Allen, a former longtime CIA officer, told the Post. “It is being addressed.”

The move to further investigate Russia’s attempts to influence U.S. politics comes after a series of high-profile hacks into party committee servers as well as state elections systems.

In July, Wikileaks released a trove of emails from the Democratic National Committee, leading to the ouster of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and several other top DNC aides. The documents, released just before the start of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, were widely believed to be the work of Russian hackers hoping to cause trouble for Democrats during their big week. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democrats’ campaign arm that deals with House races, was also hacked.

“We’ve seen an unprecedented intrusion and an attempt to influence or disrupt our political process,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-California) said about the DNC hack.

And just last week, CBS News confirmed that hackers had accessed state election databases in both Arizona and Illinois. U.S. officials said they believed those intrusions were the work of foreign hackers, but did not name a specific country they thought was responsible.

Russia has denied any involvement in the hacks, with Russian President Vladimir Putin saying last week that the country was not responsible. Still, he added that it was a net positive that the DNC documents were released: “The important thing is the content that was given to the public,” he said.

  • Emily Schultheis

    Emily Schultheis is a reporter/editor for CBS News Digital.