Low on confidence: America’s intelligence community

Low on confidence: America’s intelligence community

FBI Director James Comey will be among those testifying at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, the first public

Photo: AP

Photo: AP

FBI Director James Comey will be among those testifying at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Monday, the first public hearing into allegations that Russia interfered with the 2016 election.

Last year, the intelligence community concluded that Russia meddled in the election to erode trust in Hillary Clinton. But the current divisive political environment in Washington, along with accusations that the CIA can imitate Russian hacking signatures, have renewed the debate. Representatives from CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm that first accused Russia of interference, will come under particular scrutiny.

Monday’s hearing will aim to restore the public’s confidence in the intelligence services and portray them as capable, ethical and apolitical – no easy task.

With no apparent evidence available, claims that the Obama administration monitored Trump’s communications are unlikely to be validated at Monday’s hearing. If Mr Trump’s allegations are proven, the failure of the American intelligence community to report this activity to the Committee would cause a major scandal, pushing already-low public trust to a new nadir.