The senior intelligence official said on Thursday he was “even more resolute” in his belief that Russia had organized cyber attacks against Democrats during the 2016 election campaign, chastising the persistent skepticism of Republican president-elect Donald Trump .
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said he had a very high level of confidence that Russia has pirated the Democratic Party and campaign staff e-mail, and spread propaganda and false news aimed at The elections of 8 November.
“Our assessment is now even more resolute than it was” on October 7, when the government publicly accused Russia, Clapper said at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the reasons for the attack would be made public next week.
Trump Thursday morning was called a “big fan” of intelligence agencies. But he questioned their view that Russia had targeted the campaign of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who fired the anger of his Republican colleagues as well as Democrats who are suspicious of Moscow and are wary From praise of Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Intelligence officials at Thursday’s hearing said they feared a lack of support from the government could prompt valuable staff members to leave their agencies.
“There is a difference between healthy skepticism … and denigration,” said Clapper. Elected Vice President Mike Pence used the phrase “healthy skepticism” to defend Trump’s criticism of the intelligence findings.
Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan told the University of Chicago Policy Institute on Thursday that, as Trump had never served in government, he did not know the intelligence profession.
“It does not bother me if someone is going to be skeptical and challenging our work and maybe disagreeing with our point of view, but I expect the President of the United States will recognize that the CIA and the Community of information have been established by status for a very important Reason “.
The congressional hearing was overseen by Republican Senator John McCain, a vociferous critic of Russia. It was the first in a promising series of briefings and hearings on allegations that Russia has attempted to disrupt or influence the US campaign, one of the most bitter in the US, Recent history.
Moscow denies the allegations.
McCain told reporters that Senator Lindsey Graham, also a Moscow vocal critic, would chair a new subcommittee on armed services dedicated to cyber issues.
Trump will be informed by the chiefs of intelligence agencies on Friday about the hacks. President Barack Obama received a report on the issue on Thursday. An unclassified version will be released at the beginning of next week.
“I do not think we have ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to intervene in our electoral process than what we have seen in this case,” said Clapper, who left when Trump became president on 20 January. Clapper arrested short To declare the acts of Russia “an act of war”, affirming that the determination was out of reach of his office.
Clapper and the other two officials who testified, the Director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Mike Rogers, and Marcel Lettre, Undersecretary of Intelligence, did not say what made American intelligence Confident that Russia was behind the cyber attacks,.
CRITICISM OF ASSANGE
Last week Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian spies suspected of having imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies that he spoke of to hijack US political groups like the National Democratic Committee.
The CIA has identified Russian officials who have fed pirated documents from the DNC and Democratic Party leaders at WikiLeaks to Putin’s leadership through third parties, according to a new intelligence report from the United States.
The documents stolen from DNC and Clinton’s campaign president, John Podesta, were posted on the Internet before the election, which embarrassed the campaign.
In a tweet Wednesday, Trump was skeptical about a Russian role in the case, writing: “(founder of WikiLeaks) Julian Assange said ‘a 14 year old could have pirate Podesta’ – why DNC was so careless? Also said that the Russians did not give him the info! ”
But on Thursday, Trump said in another Twitter post that he was not against the intelligence agencies or in agreement with Assange. “The media lie to make me look like I’m against” intelligence “when in fact I’m a big fan!” Trump tweeted.
Clapper said that Assange had put American life in danger and deserved no credibility. McCain and other lawmakers also sabotaged Assange.
Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, said there would be “screaming” Republicans if a Democrat described intelligence officials as Trump had.
US intelligence officials said Russian cyber attacks were aimed specifically at helping Trump beat Clinton. Many Republicans have recognized Russian piracy, but have not linked to an effort to help Trump win.
Trump and leading advisers believe Democrats are trying to delegitimize his victory by accusing Russia of helping him.
Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the armed forces who was Clinton’s vice-presidential candidate, said: “I hope this Congress is willing to stand for a bipartisan party for the integrity of the electoral process.
Graham said Obama’s actions against Moscow fell short.
“I think what Obama did was throw a stone, I’m ready to throw a rock,” said Graham. “Putin is not good and it’s better to be stopped.