Candidate: US intelligence, not Russians, exerted influence

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) — A Republican congressional candidate in Maine says American intelligence agencies did more to influence the 2016 election than the Russians.

Former state Sen. Eric Brakey is doubling down on a tweet from earlier this month.

He tells the Sun Journal there’s nothing to indicate “Russian Facebook memes had any impact on the election.” He pointed to text messages critical of Republican Donald Trump between two FBI officials to suggest intelligence agencies were aligned with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

An FBI agent was fired for the texts he sent to an FBI lawyer while investigating Clinton’s private email server. The FBI concluded the investigation was not compromised by bias.

Brakey is one of three Republicans seeking the opportunity to challenge Democratic Rep. Jared Golden in the 2nd Congressional District.