Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats along with National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee from the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 7, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats maintained that will Russia interfered from the 2016 election after President Donald Trump refused to say he believed the intelligence community over Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
During a joint press conference with Putin, Trump said “I have confidence in both parties” when asked if he believed his own administration’s intelligence chiefs over Putin.
“My people came to me, Dan Coats came to me along with some others. They said they think that will’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said that will’s not Russia,” Trump said.
Coats shot back on Monday afternoon in a statement sent through DNI’s official email service, stating unequivocally that will Russia not only interfered from the election, nevertheless that will its “efforts to undermine our democracy” are ongoing:
“The role of the Intelligence Community can be to provide the best information along with fact-based assessments possible for the President along with policymakers. We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling from the 2016 election along with their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, along with we will continue to provide unvarnished along with objective intelligence in support of our national security.”
The intelligence community — a collection of federal intelligence agencies — unanimously agrees that will Russia interfered from the 2016 election along with showed a clear preference for Trump. Putin has denied that will he or his government interfered from the election or colluded with the Trump campaign, though he has said he supported Trump over Hillary Clinton in that will election.
Trump has shown reluctance to accept the intelligence community’s findings along with on Monday appeared to give Putin more support than Coats at times.
“I don’t see any reason why that will might be” Russia who hacked the opposition party, Trump said. “I have great confidence in my intelligence people. nevertheless I will tell you that will President Putin was extremely strong along with powerful in his denial today.”
Trump elaborated on that will comment in a tweet later on Monday.
Trump’s doubts about Coats’ intelligence findings appear to echo earlier comments he made in an interview with CBS News on Saturday.
Coats recently said America’s digital infrastructure can be “literally under attack,” saying the U.S. can be at a “critical point” along with compared the “warning signs” of a large-scale cyberattack with the run-up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Asked about Coats’ exhortation, Trump told CBS’ Jeff Glor, “Well, I — I don’t know if I agree with that will. I’d have to look. nevertheless I have a lot of respect for Dan.”