When Wikileaks released Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails in July, people immediately pointed fingers at Russia and cried that the Kremlin wanted to influence the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, who won by a large margin over Hillary Clinton.

But National Security Agency (NSA) Director Mike Rogers dashed those conspiracy theories this past weekend:

“I don’t think in the end it had the effect that [the hackers] had hoped it might,” Rogers said during a panel at the Halifax International Security Forum.

Last week, Rogers told the audience at a Wall Street Journal event that a nation state tried to influence the election with the hacks:

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s minds,” he told attendees. “This was not something that was done casually. This was not something that was done by chance. This was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

Rogers refused to name the exact nation he thought performed the hacks. Despite these thoughts, he and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) insists the hack did not cause Hillary to lose:

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain (R-Az.) expressed a similar sentiment on Saturday, stating that, “I do not think that the outcome of the election was impacted by Russian hacking.”

“I would agree with that assessment,” Rogers said Sunday, although he did not specifically name Russia. Last week, he had said there was no doubt “a nation state” intentionally tried to interfere in the U.S. election.

In October, President Barack Obama’s administration formerly blamed Russia for the hack in an attempt to influence the election:

“We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the statement said.

The agencies said some state election systems have been recently scanned and probed and that this action originated from servers operated by a Russian company. But the statement stopped short of definitively blaming the Russian government for that activity.

Professor Jacobson wrote about the conspiracy theory in July just after it happened and published thoughts on the hack from Andy LoCasio, the man who maintains the Legal Insurrection server:

The idea that that the Russians were sophisticated enough to hack an email account and then stupid enough to leave meta data in place that implicates them (or any other breadcrumbs) is beyond ludicrous. Thinking that Wikileaks isn’t sophisticated enough to scrub the data is even further beyond the pale of reason.

Hacks of this nature are typically done by very sophisticated individuals who in turn sell that information to the highest bidder. Their only motive is profit.

The media love the Russian angle because it makes another story of carelessness, into something that is more exciting. It is possible that hack came from some individual(s) in Russia, but unlikely that some state sponsored hacking attack would be so sloppy.

Marching high ranking Dems in front of the camera and have them making vague references to how this came from Russia is silly. They will never have any evidence that this is the case.

The hack occurred days before the DNC, with emails that showed the committee conspired from within to ruin Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) campaign against Hillary Clinton.

This caused the DNC to “quarantine” then-DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz from the Democrat convention. She later resigned a day before the convention kicked off while the DNC fired three top officials.

Another document dump showed emails that contained the words pay to play. Those high paying donors eventually became ambassadors. Other emails showed the DNC staged TV protests.