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No doubt Russia interfered in election : US intel chief

7 January 2017 12:03 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Brushing aside Donald Trump’s dismissiveness, the nation’s intelligence chief insisted Thursday that U.S. agencies are more confident than ever that Russia interfered in America’s recent presidential election. And he called the former Cold War foe an “existential threat” to the nation.   


Did Russian hacking sway the results? There’s no way for U.S. agencies to know, said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.   


Asked about the possible effect of the disclosure of private information stolen by hackers, Clapper said, “The intelligence community can’t gauge the impact it had on the choices the electorate made.” But he did say Russian hacking “did not change any vote tallies.”    Clapper’s testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was short on concrete evidence of Russian activities, but it raised the stakes in the intelligence community’s standoff with Trump. Clapper indicated the agencies he leads would not back down in their assessment, even if that threatens a prolonged crisis of confidence with their next commander in chief.    That puts the pressure back on Trump, who has raised the possibility of more positive relations with Russia and has repeatedly disparaged the U.S. intelligence agencies. He will be briefed Friday on the classified evidence concerning Russian interference.  


Shortly after Thursday’s hearing, news leaked that Trump would soon name former Republican Sen. Dan Coats of Indiana to replace Clapper after the new president takes office.  


That puts the pressure back on Trump, who has raised the possibility of more positive relations with Russia and has repeatedly disparaged the U.S. intelligence agencies. He will be briefed Friday on the classified evidence concerning Russian interference.  
WASHINGTON (AP/Daily Mail)06.01.2017 — 

 

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