GOP senator: Trump needs to 'apply pain' to Russian Federation

GOP senator: Trump needs to 'apply pain' to Russian Federation”

The U.S.'s former top intelligence official has rubbished President Donald Trump's claims that foreign actors outside of Russian Federation may have been involved in the alleged hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying that they are unsubstantiated.

Lankford, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Moscow's role in the election, told ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast that he was pleased to hear the president acknowledge on Thursday that Russian Federation had interfered in the election.

"As far as others doing this, boy, that's news to me", Clapper said.

Clapper said it was possible others might have meddled, but contended that there "wasn't any evidence" to support that claim.

Trump seemed to dismiss the strength of the intelligence community assessment, saying "mistakes have been made" with regard to intelligence and noting the United States intelligence community's erroneous claim that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction - a report that the Bush administration used to make a case for war.

"I think in a sense that actually gives strength to Putin's position as he walks in and sits down for this meeting".

"That is not a realistic option in my view", Clapper said. "That was 15 years ago". It is uncertain whether Mr Trump will bring up Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential race.

"The espionage and intelligence collection part becomes that much more important as they try to determine the plans and intentions of the adversarial government", Hall said.

In early January, the DNI issued a declassified version of the intelligence community assessment.

Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are reportedly expected to bond over their disdain for "fake news" when they meet later this week at the G20 summit in Germany. Trump has repeatedly said he wanted to improve relations between Russian Federation and the U.S.

"As long as we don't push back with the Russians and take the necessary measures to foreclose, they're going to continue", Clapper said.

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