Trump's Intel chief downgraded 2016 claim that Russian spies "knew Hillary Clinton was trying to stir up a scandal against Donald by linking him to the DNC hack," despite the Senate calling it "disinformation".
- National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe wrote to Lindsey Graham, chairman of the GOP judiciary, on the day of the first presidential debate
- He said in July 2016 that US intelligence had gained insight into Russian intelligence analysis.
- The Russian intelligence was about a plan to "vilify Donald Trump by creating a scandal alleging that Russian security services are intervening".
- Ratcliffe admitted that the US "does not know the veracity of this claim or the extent to which Russian intelligence services' analysis may reflect exaggeration or forgery."
- Letter says he does not know the accuracy and that it "may reflect exaggeration or forgery"
- Democrats howled saying it was Russian "disinformation"
In an extraordinary move, National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe released information – but did not vouch for its accuracy – hours before Tuesday's first presidential debate on Russian Intelligence's analysis of an alleged Hillary Clinton conspiracy for 2016 .
Ratcliffe. A Trump loyalist and former member of the House of Representatives wrote to Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Republican Senate judiciary, about a scheme under which Russians claimed Hillary Clinton agreed to start a scandal against US presidential candidate Donald Trump by beating him tied to Putin and the Russians who hacked the Democratic National Committee. & # 39;
In a striking addendum, he added: "The (intelligence community) knows neither the veracity of this claim nor the extent to which Russian intelligence analysis could reflect exaggeration or forgery."
National Intelligence Director, John Ratcliffe, a former GOP Congressman, released the information and made it available to Sen. Lindsey Graham
The release comes amid Graham's investigation into the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation, which Trump derided as a "witch hunt".
The analysis by the US secret service indicates that Russia is behind the hack of DNC emails as well as the former leader of the Clinton campaign, John Podesta.
Graham published the letter hours before Trump was supposed to face Democrat Joe Biden for their first presidential debate.
Ratcliffe writes: "According to his handwritten notes, the former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Brennan, briefed President Obama and other senior national security officials on the intelligence service, including the" alleged approval of a proposal by Hillary Clinton on July 26, 2016 " Advisors denigrate Donald Trump by creating a scandal claiming Russian security services are interfering. "
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) Published the letter but said, "I don't know if it's true or not."
Russian intelligence claims Hillary Clinton agreed to a conspiracy to "stir up a scandal against US presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians who hacked the Democratic National Committee".
Ratcliffe wrote to Graham in a letter dated September 29th
The Russian information was about a conspiracy to tie Donald Trump to the Russian hack
He continues: & # 39; On September 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials passed an investigation to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok asking for US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's approval for one Plan went on to obstruct US presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers in US elections as a means to distract the public from using a private mail server. "
Ratcliffe added that Attorney General Barr & # 39; has indicated that disclosure of this information will not affect the Justice Department's ongoing investigation and that additional clearance is "being considered".
Graham wrote in a statement – where he also acknowledged that the allegations may not be legitimate.
& # 39; This latest information from DNI Ratcliffe shows that the FBI may have double standards over allegations against the Clinton campaign and Russia. Whether these claims are correct is not the question. The question is, has the FBI investigated the allegations against Clinton like Trump? If not why not? If so, what was the scope of the investigation? If not, why was that? & # 39;
He made a similar comment on CNN, saying, “I don't know if it's true or not. The question is whether the FBI was looking at it when the intelligence community asked them to look at it. That's the only thing that interests me. It may be true, it may not be true – but did you look? & # 39;
In a comment to Politico, Clinton's spokesman Nick Merrill called the claim "an unfounded cop ****".
A source told the publication that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which published five reports of electoral interference including a 1,000-page volume weeks ago, was aware of the allegation but "quickly dismissed" it and did not include it in its work.
A spokeswoman for Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (D-Va.), Rachel Cohen, has broken the step, calling it "Russian disinformation".
& # 39; This is Russian disinformation. Laundered by the director of the National Intelligence Service and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, “she wrote.
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