News - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Russiagate: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask

| May 04, 2017

Harvard Kennedy School JFK Jr. Forum

What do we know? And what do we not know? And why does it matter?

These are the questions Belfer Center Director Graham Allison hoped to answer at Tuesday's forum event on Russian influence over the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Graham directed the questions to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers, both of whom are now non-resident senior fellows at the center.

"The shots were called here at the highest level—were interested first in sowing dissention and doubt and discord in this country," said Clapper, citing a January 6 intelligence community assessment. "Putin himself ascribed particularly Secretary Clinton an attempt to promote a covert revolution—I mean that’s the way he perceived it, in Russia, to overturn him. He held us accountable for the Panama Papers and the doping scandal. And so this is just part of doing business."

Referencing a question posed in a Boston Globe article, Allison asked “Did President Trump himself know about, approve, or invite the Russian role in undermining our election?” 

"I don’t think we’re going to know until the FBI investigation is done," said Rogers. "But one of the only ways that Washington, D.C. gets exercise is jumping to conclusions. And they are—I mean, and character assassination is a side sport."

Watch Highlights from the Forum and the Full Forum Video Below

For more information on this publication: Please contact the Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation:Russiagate: Everything You Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask.” News, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, May 4, 2017.