US official says Russia undoubtedly meddled in US election
WASHINGTON, DC (AP):
The nation's top intelligence official said yesterday that Russia undoubtedly interfered in America's 2016 presidential election but stopped short of the explosive description of "an act of war", telling lawmakers such a call is not within the purview of the US intelligence community.
In a joint report that roiled the presidential campaign last fall, the Homeland Security Department and the intelligence community said the US was confident of foreign meddling, including Russian government hacking of Democratic emails.
In its assessment, the intelligence community has said Moscow interfered in the election to help Republican Donald Trump win.
"We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement than we did on the 7th of October," James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Armed Services Committee.
HEAVY POLICY CALL
Pressed by Senator John McCain on whether the actions constituted an "act of war", Clapper said that was "a very heavy policy call" more appropriate for other entities in the government to decide.
Clapper and other US intelligence said President Barack Obama has received a report on the Russian interference and other foreign meddling in the US election. They said Russia poses a major and growing threat to US government, military, diplomatic and commercial operations.