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US intelligence director denies leaking info, releases statement on Trump intel

National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. (AP/Cliff Owen)

President-elect Donald Trump blasted the intelligence community Wednesday during his first press conference since the election, alleging they had leaked an unverified claim that the Russian government has a secret personal and financial dossier on him. While speaking to reporters, Trump expressed during the presser that if the intelligence community had engaged in such activity, it would be a "tremendous blot on their record."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded with a vehement denial of any allegations that U.S. intelligence agencies were behind the leaked information. In a rare statement, Clapper said he informed Trump that intelligence agencies did not make any judgment on the validity of the information, and he did not believe the intelligence community was behind the leak.

"I 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," Clapper said (emphasis in original).

"However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security," he added.

The full statement reads:

 

DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE

WASHINGTON, DC  20511

January 11, 2017

DNI Clapper Statement on Conversation with President-elect Trump

This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday. I expressed 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.

We also 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 became aware of it. I 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. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.

President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community, and I assured him that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

One last thing…
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