Now that Republican presidential electors have ignored the calls to dump Donald Trump (more “faithless” electors appear to have abandoned Hillary Clinton than Trump), perhaps people will take a more clear-headed look at accusations that Russian hacking played a role in the recent election.

Rachel Stoltzfoos of the Daily Caller sheds some light on the issue.

The reports on the intelligence community’s (IC) alleged conclusion that Russia wanted President-elect Donald Trump to win the election have been, in a word, schizophrenic. They’re also drawing on some odd sourcing.

The Washington Post broke the story, reporting the CIA concluded it was Russia’s “goal” to elect Trump by interfering in the election, rather than a more general plan to undermine the legitimacy of the election. The New York Times followed with reports stating the CIA concluded with “high confidence” that electing Trump was the “primary aim” of Russia’s covert campaign.

These reports fueled the Democrat narrative that Trump is too cozy with Putin and that his win is tainted, and a round of headlines reporting the FBI now “agrees” with the CIA have added fuel to the fire. But a closer look at the reporting shows it’s actually not clear what exactly the CIA concluded regarding Russia’s motives, or what the FBI’s assessment of the motive is. And it’s important to note from the outset that neither the FBI nor the CIA has commented on any of these reports. …

… The problems with the reporting actually stem from the very first story, when the Washington Post broke news that the CIA thought Russia wanted to elect Trump.

The story cites an account from a “senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators.” So the reporter talked to someone who was literally briefed on a brief, and almost certainly relaying the briefing through political lenses, perhaps a chief of staff for one of the Democrat senators who sat in on the briefing. …

… The most definitive statement so far reportedly came straight from CIA Director John Brennan. He allegedly sent an internal, unclassified memo after he talked with FBI Director James Comey and the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to the Associated Press. The memo reportedly included the line, “there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election.” The intent, though, is never spelled out. Also, no one in the media has seen this unclassified message. The quote came from an official who had seen the memo and later talked to the Associated Press.

Why didn’t this official just send out the whole memo? Certainly it could be redacted. How come only this incomplete sentence came out? The memo leak appears to be highly targeted and oddly lacks specifics. If the IC concluded “Russia wanted to elect Trump,” strange that we still haven’t seen those words verbatim. So we are left to believe that a Brennan memo detailing a conversation in which the CIA, FBI, and DNI agreed Trump was the goal of the hack didn’t mention Trump by name?