Top intelligence official release, previously rejected Russia information

WASHINGTON – President Trump’s top intelligence official on Tuesday released unverified information about the 2016 campaign that seemed to be a bid to help Mr. Trump politically and was said to have been exposed to objections from career intelligence officials Those who were worried that the material might be Russian propaganda.

The revelations were the latest of Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and a former vocal aide to the president, who highlighted the information that helped Mr. Trump, but critics have called for the distortions.

Mr. Ratcliffe sought to shore up the credibility of the material centered on claims about Hillary Clinton, stating that it was not a product of Russian disinfection after initially admitting it. But his initial revelations, which came hours before the presidential debate, introduced new ammunition for Mr. Trump to attack his political enemies.

In a letter to South Carolina’s Republican and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Lindsey Graham, Mr. Ratcliffe previously offered snippets of classified reports stating that Russian intelligence had received information that Mrs. Clinton had asked for her 2016 campaign A plan was approved. Russian hackers who dabble in Democratic servers “foment” against Mr. Trump by tying it up.

Other officers – including Robert S. Including Muller III, the special counsel appointed by the Justice Department and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee – had evaluated and rejected the information for years, according to three current and former officials familiar with those investigations. .

An official familiar with the committee’s work said that Mr. Ratcliffe and Mr. Graham issued it on objections from other intelligence officers.

Virginia’s Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said “35 days before the election, a director of national intelligence would have issued an unverified” rumor that originated from Russia. He helped lead a detailed bipartisan investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, a wide-ranging liaison between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence officials.

Mr. Warner said he saw nothing like the letter of any other director of the National Intelligence Department on Tuesday.

Mr. Ratcliffe held a classified briefing on Tuesday evening for Mr. Graham, who was familiar with people’s case about the sources behind the secret intelligence he had released. There were no Democratic lawmakers at the last-minute briefing; Staff members were barred from participating for Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California and a ranking member of Mr. Graham’s committee, a deviation from normal practice for an intelligence briefing on Capitol Hill.

Democrats were angered by the improvement briefing. Mr. Ratcliffe had promised to provide information on the sources, but some Congress officials were surprised by the hasty meeting. He suggested that scheduling led to former FBI Director James B. on Wednesday. Commie showed the need to brief Mr. Graham before the congressional testimony.

Democrats called the release one of the most important examples of the politicization of intelligence agencies under Mr. Trump. While Mr. Ratcliffe – a former Texas congressman who has very little intelligence experience – promised during the opposition’s hearing during his Senate confirmation, he highlighted Chinese electoral intervention after taking the job, which Career officials say that there is a greater threat from Russia and created other impurities. Equally beneficial to the President.

“Ratcliffe is abusing his position exactly as I thought he would fear, and abuses are accelerating as the election draws closer,” Senator Ron Weiden, a Democrat from Oregon, said in a statement.

The letter on Tuesday was the first time Mr Ratcliffe had released material rejected by other officials as an unverified rumor. He initially accepted that assessment, stating that “Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” Intelligence agencies have precluded assessing what is certain as a disintegration of material.

But just hours after the letter was released, Mr. Ratcliffe appeared, giving his warning.

“To be clear, this is not Russian disintegration and has not been rated as such by the intelligence community,” he said. “I am telling the Congress about the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days.”

The information he released included an intelligence report, including Mr. Comey was dispatched on September 7, 2016 and CIA Director John O. at the time. Brennan wrote that he had briefed President Barack Obama.

A spokesman for Mr. Brennan said the release “led to a decrease in politicization.”

“Russian interference in the election was real, intense and unprecedented in scale and scope. It was authorized by Putin to personally hurt Secretary Clinton and boost Donald Trump’s electoral prospects, ”said Nick Shapiro, Mr. Brennan, former CIA chief of staff, Russia’s President Vladimir V. Referred to Putin. “Intelligence on this is inconsistent and analysis unaffected.”

Mr. Brennan was presenting a vast array of information about Russia to the White House in the summer of 2016. Incorporating information on what Russian intelligence was saying about Mrs. Clinton’s plans was not an endorsement of its accuracy, but how much performance a former intelligence official said the United States was collecting information on Moscow.

Other officials say they believe the intelligence may simply be an analysis of Russia’s American politics, not a conspiracy by the Clinton campaign to produce a scandal but a legitimate political approach to the Trump campaign’s stance toward Russia. Suggests criticism.

Officials said the timing was not a coincidence, not only for the debate but for Mr. Komi’s testimony before Mr. Graham’s committee, which has been investigating the Russia investigation of the bureau that the president has long been false as a conspiracy Seeking illustration. Underestimate it.

Mr. Graham addressed concerns about the veracity and correctness of the information.

“I am not saying whether this is true or not,” he told reporters. “I’m asking the Democrats, do you give a damn whether the FBI investigated, or do you only care about Trump’s investigation?”

He said that it was “not far to believe the Clinton campaign would be something like this.”

As the election approaches, administration officials have unclassified an array of materials aimed at raising questions about the 2016 campaign investigation. The revelations appear to be aimed primarily at strengthening Mr. Trump’s political base and airing conspiracy theories that the national security establishment is striving for his presidency.

Last week, Attorney General William P. Barr provided Mr. Graham with undisclosed documents, which tried to further raise doubts over aspects of the FBI’s Russia investigation. Former FBI and Justice Department officials said selective settlement appears to be part of a pattern of politically motivated moves by Mr. Barr to investigate Mr. Trump’s allegations.

President’s son, Donald Trump Jr., seized on Mr. Ratcliffe’s revelations Writing on twitter This showed that Mrs Clinton was behind what she called the “hoax of Russia”.

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