Top US intelligence official says he told Trump about unsubstantiated Russia report

The Director of National Intelligence announced that he did speak to President-elect Donald Trump about an unsubstantiated, unverified report that Russia had incriminating personal and financial information about Trump.

James Clapper released a statement Wednesday night saying he informed Trump that the US intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable,” the statement read.

A dossier, produced by a former British intelligence agent, contained a collection of memos that documented unconfirmed, intimate details about Trump’s life, including claims that Trump cooperated with Russia in operations that targeted Trump’s political opponents.

US intelligence agents prepared a two-page summary of the dossier’s contents. Trump as recently as Wednesday morning refused to acknowledge whether he saw the document during an intelligence briefing he was given on Russian cyberattacks on Friday. Trump surrogate, Kellyanne Conway, sparred with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday over the same argument.

Seeming to refer to Tuesday reports from CNN and BuzzFeed about the dossier, Clapper said he was “dismayed” that leaks have been published by the press. Clapper said he talked to Trump on Wednesday and both agreed the leaks were “corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Here’s Clapper’s full statement:

This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday. I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security. We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it. I emphasised that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security. President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community, and I assured him that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people. James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

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