- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2017

Former intelligence chief James Clapper rejected President Trump’s assertion Thursday that Russia wasn’t the only foreign country interfering in last year’s election.

“As far as others doing this, boy, that’s news to me,” Mr. Clapper, the director of national intelligence from 2010 to 2017, told CNN late Thursday with respect to Moscow’s role in last year’s White House race.

“We saw no evidence whatsoever that it was anyone involved in this other than the Russians,” Mr. Clapper added.

Prior to retiring in January following more than a half-century of government service, Mr. Clapper signed off on an intelligence community assessment accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of meddling in last year’s election in a bid to boost Mr. Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Trump raised doubts about the intelligence community’s conclusion earlier Thursday when he discussed the election during a press conference in Warsaw, Poland on the eve of his first face-to-face meeting with Mr. Putin.

“Well I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people and other countries,” Mr. Trump said. “It could have been a lot of people interfered.”

“Nobody really knows for sure,” Mr. Trump added.

Addressing his comments later that evening, Mr. Clapper said ignoring Moscow’s role will enable Mr. Putin to “keep doing what he’s doing.”

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

“This is an assault on us, our nation, our country, regardless of party,” he said continued.

Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in last year’s election. Besides Mr. Trump, however, Washington is largely convinced Moscow most certainly meddling in last year’s election. The president’s pick to succeed Mr. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, said in February that “Russia definitely did try to influence the campaign.”

NSA Director Michael Rogers, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe similarly blamed Russia while testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee during a May 11 hearing involving last year’s race.


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