Trump talks to intelligence chief about dossier

President-elect Trump talks to intelligence chief about dossier

Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that the director of national intelligence called him to deny leaking a dossier containing a variety of allegations against the president-elect over his relationship to Russia.
"James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated," Trump tweeted. "Made up, phony facts.Too bad!"

In a separate statement, Clapper said he expressed to Trump "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."

The dossier in question, prepared by a former intelligence agent hired by Trump's political opponents, claims that Russia has compromising information on Trump, including a variety of sexual and financial allegations. It also claims Trump associates had contacts with Russian officials during an election in which the Russians were accused of cyber-espionage on Democrats working with presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump denounced the claims on social media and at a news conference on Wednesday.

"It's all fake news," Trump told reporters. "It's phony stuff. It didn't happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people."

In his statement, Clapper said that he and Trump "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 (intelligence community) became aware of it."

Clapper said he emphasized "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."

© Spencer Platt. President-elect Donald Trump


Trump talks to intelligence chief James Clapper about dossier on Russia

While continuing to criticize the news media, Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that the director of national intelligence contacted him to deny leaking a dossier containing a variety of allegations against the president-elect over his relationship to Russia.

"James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated," Trump tweeted. "Made up, phony facts.Too bad!"

In a separate statement, Clapper said he expressed to Trump "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."

Somewhat contrary to Trump, Clapper said the intelligence community has not characterized the reports: "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."

Trump and aides also maintained their attacks on the news media for reporting on the story, tweeting: "@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!"

The president-elect got into an argument with a CNN reporter during his news conference Wednesday.

Actually, CNN only reported that intelligence officials informed Trump about the existence of allegations out of Russia. BuzzFeed posted documents related to the claims.

The dossier in question, prepared by a former intelligence agent hired by Trump's political opponents, claims that Russia has compromising information on Trump, including a variety of sexual and financial allegations. It also claims Trump associates had contacts with Russian officials during an election in which the Russians were accused of cyber-espionage on Democrats working with presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

White criticizing the reports, saying they displayed a "reckless disregard for the truth," Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said the Trump campaign had absolutely nothing to do with any Russian election activities. Said Spicer: "There was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and any suggestion otherwise is totally irresponsible."

Trump denounced the claims on social media and at a news conference on Wednesday.

"It's all fake news," Trump told reporters. "It's phony stuff. It didn't happen. And it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it and so did many of the other people."

In his statement, Clapper said that he and Trump "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 (intelligence community) became aware of it."

Clapper said he emphasized "that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC."

Democrats who have criticized Trump over his attacks on the intelligence community said the president-elect put words in Clapper's mouth.

Rep. Adam Schiff of California, top Democrat on the House Intelligence Community, tweeted: "DNI Clapper right to condemn leaks; @realDonaldTrump wrong to mis-characterize him. DNI made no judgment on reliability."


U.S. Intelligence Chief James Clapper to Donald Trump: We Didn’t Leak Russia Documents

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told President-elect Donald Trump that he does not believe leaks of a document detailing unsubstantiated claims of Trump’s connections to Russia originated from the intelligence community in a phone call Wednesday evening.

Clapper took the unusual move of issuing a statement on the matter a day after CNN reported that intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump, President Obama and senior congressional leaders on reports that Russian officials have a secret dossier on Trump that could be used to blackmail him. Buzzfeed followed shortly thereafter with the release of the dossier, which was compiled by a third party intelligence operative and contains a slew of unsubstantiated claims.
Trump suggested that he believes a member of the intelligence community may have been behind the leaks in the aftermath of those reports, adding that it would be a “tremendous blot on their record” if that was the case. He tweeted early Thursday morning in response to Clapper’s call.

Most of the President-elect’s Twitter message remains unsupported or false beyond the fact that Clapper spoke with Trump. Clapper did not say in his statement that document was false, instead noting that the intelligence community “has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.” He also did not make any judgment about the legality of the document’s circulation among members of the media and political establishment.

Clapper also used the opportunity to express concern at leaks from the intelligence community more broadly and find common ground with Trump. “I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press,” said Clapper. “We both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

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