WASHINGTON — Brushing aside Donald Trump's dismissiveness, the nation's intelligence chief insisted Thursday that U.S. agencies are more confident than ever that Russia interfered in America's recent presidential election. And he called the former Cold War foe an "existential threat" to the nation.
Did Russian hacking sway the results? There's no way for U.S. agencies to know, said James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.
Asked about the possible effect of the disclosure of private information stolen by hackers, Clapper said, "The intelligence community can't gauge the impact it had on the choices the electorate made." But he did say Russian hacking "did not change any vote tallies."
Clapper's testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee was short on concrete evidence of Russian activities, but it raised the stakes in the intelligence community's standoff with Trump. Clapper indicated the agencies he leads would not back down in their assessment, even if that threatens a prolonged crisis of confidence with their next commander in chief. Read full story here