Economy

Clapper: 'No Evidence Whatsoever' Anyone But Russia Meddled In Election

Clapper: 'No Evidence Whatsoever' Anyone But Russia Meddled In Election”

Let's begin with a statement that is widely accepted as fact: Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. For reasons we do not yet know, Donald Trump is comfortable mocking his own administration's intelligence agencies. Democrats and Republicans alike on Capitol Hill agree. Now, the thing I have to mention is that Barack Obama, when he was president, found out about this in terms of if it were Russian Federation - found out about it in August.

What does that mean?

The suspected operatives now in the U.S. are said to be engaged in a number of activities, including collecting information on the Trump administration.

A Washington Post report revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency briefed the Obama White House as early as August 2016 that Russian President Vladamir Putin had ordered the interference of the 2016 election with "the express objective of helping elect Donald Trump".

"I think it was Russian Federation and I think it could have been other people in other countries", Trump said during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda. "It could have been a lot of people interfered", Trump said. So it was Russian Federation, and I think it was probably others also.

What are the "other countries?"

. "I said it very simply". "I said, boy, that's a lot, do we even have that many intelligence agencies, right?"

No - at least not publicly. The report did not mention any other countries.

Trump keeps trying to suggest there's dissension or disagreement within the intelligence agencies about Russia's role, and that the whole question of foreign interference remains unknowable.

The 17 organizations differ on their missions and scope, so they wouldn't all be expected to contribute to every intelligence assessment, including one of this import. Others are smaller offices within agencies whose main focus is not intelligence, like the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research or the Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis. It came on the same day the report from the intelligence community was released.

"I see nothing with that statement", he said.

More recently, though, he has repeatedly castigated former President Obama for failing to do anything about Russian hacking during the 2016 campaign - and in the process, seemed to implicitly acknowledge that Russia had, in fact, interfered.

On May 23, former CIA Director John Brennan, who served under Obama, told the House Intelligence Committee that Russian Federation "brazenly interfered in the 2016 election process", and said he had briefed congressional leaders on meddling attempts in August.

Trump did not make matters any clearer at his news conference.

"Well I think it was Russian Federation, and I think it could have been other people and other countries", Trump said at a news conference in Poland on Thursday.

"Nobody really knows for sure", Mr. Trump added.

As he has in the past, he went on to compare the intelligence community's assessment of Russian Federation to an earlier blunder. After the USA overthew Hussein, officials acknowledged that the Iraqi leader had not had the weapons. "How everybody was 100 percent sure that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction". "They were wrong and it led to a mess". What are people back home saying about his comments?

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump's comments "undermine US interests".

The Washington Post reported last month Obama's efforts resulted from months of internal wrangling by the administration after the former president had received strong intelligence proof of Kremlin involvement in the election.

Top Obama intelligence official reiterated those findings before Congress in early January, with then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifying that, "We stand more resolutely on that statement".

Back in October 2016, we rated this statement by then-candidate Hillary Clinton as True: "We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are created to influence our election".



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