Intelligence Chief Blows Up Trump Effort to Sow Doubt About Russian Hacking

 

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Intelligence Chief Blows Up Trump Effort to Sow Doubt About Russian Hacking

Accused CIA of 'Politicizing' Intelligence Finding

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper smacked down Donald Trump's claims that Russia wasn't behind the hacking of Democratic emails. (Photo by Alex Wong)

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper smacked down Donald Trump’s claims that Russia wasn’t behind the hacking of Democratic emails. (Photo by Alex Wong)

Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper shut down Donald Trump’s claims that Russia wasn’t behind the theft of Democratic emails released during the election to boost his campaign for the White House.

Clapper revealed in a message to CIA Director John Brennan, that FBI Director James Comey confirmed the CIA’s findings.

Brennan relayed the message to CIA workers on Friday (Dec. 17).

“Earlier this week, I met separately with FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” Brennan said, according to The Washington Post.

President-elect Trump repeatedly insisted that the nation’s premiere intelligence agency had no idea whether Russia, China or some “400 pound” guy lying on a bed somewhere was behind the intrusion.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Trump said in his most recent interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it. . . . No, I don’t believe it at all,” he asserted.

The email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta were hacked. Wikileaks released the private communications over the Internet during the convention and later during the campaign.

The emails dominated news coverage of the campaign for weeks, putting a serious dent in Clinton’s campaign. Trump recited them repeatedly on the campaign trail.

Since the CIA’s initial finding, the agency has gone even further.

It tied the hacking campaign directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin. It said Putin personally directed the effort, in part, to help Trump win the White House.

Russia has denied perpetrating the crimes.

For her part, Clinton speculated that Russia’s unprecedented meddling in the presidential election was payback for a personal grudge. Putin blamed Clinton, then Secretary of State, for triggering protests following Russian parliamentary elections in 2011.

Trump supporters and right wing media outlets tried to claim the FBI’s silence on the assessment was proof that intelligence was being politicized.

Trump also blasted Obama for failing to raise alarm about the Russian hacking until after the election. But his assertion was clearly false.

Clapper and Homeland Security Secretary Jeb Johnson blamed Russia for hacking political organizations in an Oct. 7 statement, which Obama relayed to the public. The statement even fingered “Russia’s senior-most officials” for orchestrating the effort.

Trump has raised red flags in Congress over his Russian connections and strong endorsement of Putin. A number of his close campaign staff and would-be cabinet members also have ties to Russia.

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