US Spy Chief James Clapper Rejects Trump's Attack over Russian Intel Dossier
The US director of intelligence, James Clapper, denied that the US intelligence community leaked claims that Russia is in possession of compromising personal information on Donald Trump.
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In a statement on Wednesday, Clapper, a key adviser to the president on security and intelligence, rejected a claim by Trump that the country's intelligence agencies were behind the story going public.
In the unusual statement that put a spotlight on the tensions between spy chiefs and Trump, Clapper said he told the incoming president that US intelligence agencies made no judgment about the reliability of the allegations.
The claims were summarized in a two-page report prepared for Trump and President Barack Obama.
Clapper's statement is the first public confirmation from a US official that the report exists and that it had been presented to the President, the President-elect, and eight congressional heads.
During his first news conference as President-elect on Wednesday, Trump accused US intelligence agencies of being responsible for leaking the "nonsense" report to the media. Trump suggested that such a move by the intelligence agencies would be "a tremendous blot on their record."
Before the news conference, Trump had taken to his Twitter account that intelligence agencies should have never allowed the "fake" news to leak.
"One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?" Trump tweeted.
On Thursday, Trump confirmed that he had received a call from Clapper, saying that the spy chief had called him to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.
However, Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was skeptical of Trump's claims that Clapper denounced the report.
"Sadly, you simply cannot rely on the President-elect's tweets or statements about what he's receiving in intelligence briefings, and that's a real problem," Schiff said during a TV interview.