The U.S.’s former top intelligence official has rubbished President Donald Trump’s claims that foreign actors outside of Russia may have been involved in the alleged hacking of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, saying that they are unsubstantiated.
“We saw no evidence whatsoever that it was anyone involved in this other than the Russians,” James Clapper, who served as director of national intelligence from 2010 to 2017, told CNN Thursday.
Hours earlier Trump told reporters in Poland that he believed other countries alongside Russia could have had a role to play in affecting the outcome.
“Well I think it was Russia and I think it could have been other people and other countries. It could have been a lot of people that interfered,” Trump said in Warsaw.
“Nobody really knows. Nobody really knows for sure,” he added.
However, Clapper insisted that he remained confident in the assessments of the intelligence community – namely the CIA, FBI and NSA – that Russia was the sole influencer.
The clash comes amid continued controversy over the Trump administration’s ties with Russia.
Trump is due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later today on the sidelines of the 12th annual G-20 summit. Their first face-to-face meeting since Trump’s election will be closely watched as an indicator of the likely future path for strained U.S.-Russian relations.
Russians sole culprits in US election hacking, says ex-intel director Clapper