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DHS Secretary Is Still Not Aware Of Intel That Russia Favored Trump
June 23 2018, 04:44 | Alexander Lowe
Donald Trump Would Not Have Won 2016 Election Without Russian Interference, James Clapper Claims
Speaking to reporters at a House briefing on election security, Nielsen was asked about the 2017 intelligence community report that found Putin not only "ordered an influence campaign" aimed at the 2016 presidential election, but also that Putin had a "clear preference" for Trump in those meddling efforts. "But the question asked by the reporter did not reflect the specific language in the assessment itself, so the Secretary correctly stated she had not seen the conclusion as characterized by the reporter".
"I do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment", she said.
Hillary Clinton took a jab at President Donald Trump, pulling out a Russian ushanka hat while delivering a commencement speech at Yale University.
Nielsen added that Russian Federation had attempted to target "public confidence on both sides" in 2016 and would continue to do so in the future.
"I think what they're trying to do in my opinion, and I defer to the intelligence community, is just disrupt our belief and our own understanding of what is happening", Nielsen said. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democratic member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, responded to Nielsen's remarks by emailing the intel assessment to reporters with a pointed subject line: "I honestly can't believe I have to keep doing this".
Nielsen and other Trump administration officials briefed lawmakers on election security Tuesday morning in a classified setting to discuss overall threats to upcoming US elections and explain the steps the administration is taking to counter those threats. The second concurred with the assessment by the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency that Russian Federation tried to assist Trump and damage Clinton, the committee said in a press release.
"Do you have any reason to doubt the January 17th  Intelligence Committee assessment that said it was [Russian President] Vladimir Putin who tried to meddle in this election to help President Trump?". They surmised she might have been trying to avoid upsetting Trump, who - along with House Republicans - has sought to discredit the idea that Russian Federation favored his candidacy over that of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. "All three agencies agree with this judgment", it added.
Putin blamed political firestorms that are now engulfing the Trump administration, and offered up a veiled criticism of the ongoing Russian Federation investigation, which he said prevents Trump from pursuing stronger ties with Russian Federation.
But the Senate intelligence committee said last week that it agrees with the intelligence agencies' assessment. And all major intelligence community leaders - including those appointed by Trump - have endorsed the finding.