The U.S. intelligence chief refuted Monday afternoon President Donald Trump’s earlier suggestion that Russia might not have meddled in the 2016 presidential election.
“The role of the Intelligence Community is to provide the best information and fact-based assessments possible for the President and policymakers,” Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said in an official statement Monday. “We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security.”
While evidence suggests Russia tried to interfere with the election, there is no evidence that Russia affected the outcome of the election. Furthermore, there is no conclusive evidence that the president colluded with Russia to secure his victory.
During a joint press conference in Helsinki on Monday, Trump appeared to side with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the various U.S. intelligence agencies.
“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” the president stated, adding, “I have President Putin — he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
In the hours following the surprising press conference, the president has come under fire from both Democrats and Republicans who believe that Trump squandered an opportunity to stand up to Russia. (RELATED: Republicans Are Outraged At Trump For Failing To Stand Firm Against Putin)
Missed opportunity by President Trump to firmly hold Russia accountable for 2016 meddling and deliver a strong warning regarding future elections.
This answer by President Trump will be seen by Russia as a sign of weakness and create far more problems than it solves. (1/3)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 16, 2018
Former CIA Director John Brennan called Trump’s comments “treasonous.” (RELATED: Ex-CIA Director John Brennan Accuses Trump Of Treason Following Putin Summit)
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
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