Homeland Security Chief Backtracks After Saying Russia Didn't Try to Help Trump

Posted May 26, 2018

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told reporters she agreed Russian Federation was trying to influence the 2018 elections.

Clapper does not go so far as to state that Trump colluded with Russia, but he describes the president's attitude in face of evidence of Russian interference as one of "aggressive indifference".

Asked later about her comments, Nielsen said that they have tried to manipulate "public confidence on both sides".

Several top members of the party said they are unsure whether Nielsen was being serious or simply playing politics when she said she was unaware of the intelligence community's conclusions.

Clapper's idea that Russian meddling "turned the election" contradicts the statement he made in February, saying Russian interference didn't have "any impact on the outcome of the 2016 election." he said it "stretches credulity". "So I think what they're trying to do, in my opinion, and I defer to the Intel community is just disrupt our belief in our own understanding of what's happening". Nielsen told reporters today that she has never read the publicly available 25-page report on election meddling written by the FBI, CIA, and NSA, and distributed by the Director of National Intelligence last January. The second concurred with the assessment by the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency that Russian Federation tried to assist Trump and damage Clinton, the committee said in a press release. That was at odds with Republican members of the House intelligence committee, who said that while Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to hamper Hillary Clinton's campaign, that didn't mean he wanted to help Trump. "All three agencies agree with this judgment", it continued.

In the months before the election, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also was investigating the Clinton Foundation for its fundraising practices and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's and some of her associates' use of a private email server while she was Obama's Secretary of State. "Russian goals included undermining faith in the US democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency". She also very clearly articulated today that the Russian government unequivocally worked to undermine our democracy during the 2016 election.

But the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan fashion, recently affirmed the conclusion. "Importantly, they targeted both major political parties".

Law enforcement and intelligence officials say the administration's stance was consistent with customary law enforcement and intelligence agency practice to avoid influencing voters in the run-up to an election.

The Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed the ICA's findings, writing, "Committee staff have spent 14 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft, and analytic work, and we see no reason to dispute the conclusions".

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Wednesday that President Donald Trump had distorted his words when alleging the intelligence community "spied" on his campaign.