Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper struggled to explain Friday on CNN a claim in his new book that Russians decided the 2016 election.
In “Facts and Fears,” Clapper wrote that “of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome…they swung the election to a Trump win.”
“Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election,” the book reads. “I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by the massive effort by the Russians.”
CNN’s Erin Burnett asked Clapper during a Friday night interview if he had evidence that the Russian meddling effort significantly impacted the election.
Clapper conceded that the intelligence community has not made any judgments on the impact of Russian meddling in the election and essentially admitted that the claim in his book is just a personal opinion and not backed up by any hard evidence.
“The intelligence community did not make any attempt to assess the impact on voter decisions or the outcome of the election. It has neither the authority, the capability, or the resources,” Clapper explained. “But having some understanding, pretty good understanding, of what the Russians did, the massive effort they made on a multidimensional basis to affect the election…it just, to me, defies logic and credulity to suggest they didn’t have huge impact and turn the election towards Donald Trump.”