Hollywood stars, ex-spies launch Russia investigation campaign

Committee to Investigate Russia: War.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - "We have been attacked. We are at war," says Morgan Freeman. He adds: "This is no movie script."

In a video that shot across social media Tuesday, the star of dozens of big-screen hits lent his solemn, trust-inducing voice to a new campaign by a mix of Hollywood stars and Washington security VIPs to highlight Moscow's interference in last year's election: the Committee to Investigate Russia.

The group is led by Rob Reiner, actor and director of movies like "When Harry Met Sally," and former national intelligence chief James Clapper, who has spent much of the last eight months scolding President Donald Trump for not admitting Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

With a website, a Facebook page and a Twitter account that has already pumped out more than 40 Russia-focused tweets to 8,500 followers, the group promises a "non-partisan, non-profit" effort to help Americans understand "Russia's continuing attacks on our democracy." "We need our president to speak directly to us and tell us the truth" about Russia's election meddling, Freeman said.

The move comes as multiple investigations into possible links between Russia and Trump's staff, family and election campaign officials plod on with some worries that public concern is fading.

Clapper was one of four top security and intelligence officials who put their names behind a January 6 report that said Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind a complex effort of hacking and misinformation to influence the 2016 election in Trump's favor.

While Trump continues to downplay the issue, special prosecutor Robert Mueller is interviewing possible witnesses and suspects in an investigation focused on possible collaboration with Moscow and the president's obstruction of the probe.

Meanwhile, three Congressional committees are conducting their own probes, likewise interviewing witnesses that have included top Trump aides and family members.

The website for the Committee to Investigate Russia offered extensive background on Russia's meddling, the most recent news, the role of people around Trump and a primer on the Cold War and "Red Scare." "I don't know that the public understands the gravity of what the Russians were able to do and continue to do... They are trying to undermine our democracy," Reiner told CNN.

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