In a public rebuke to Donald Trump’s denial of Russia’s interference with the elections, FBI Director James B. Comey and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. have issued a statement backing the CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election in part to help Trump win the presidency, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Comey’s support for the CIA’s conclusion bring the leaders of the three agencies in agreement on Russian intentions, contrary to suggestions by some Republicans that the FBI disagreed with the CIA.
“Earlier this week, I met separately with (Director) FBI James Comey and DNI Jim Clapper, and there is strong consensus among us on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election,” CIA Director John Brennan said in a message to the agency’s workforce, according to U.S. officials who have seen the message.
As The Post reports, Brennan’s message read: “The three of us also agree that our organizations, along with others, need to focus on completing the thorough review of this issue that has been directed by President Obama and which is being led by the DNI.”
The CIA shared its latest assessment with key senators in a closed-door briefing on Capitol Hill about two weeks ago in which agency officials cited a growing body of intelligence from multiple sources. Specifically, CIA briefers told the senators it was now “quite clear” that electing Trump was one of Russia’s goals, the report says.
H/T: The Washington Post.