DHS secretary 'not aware' Putin tried to help Trump win 2016 election

Asked if she had any reason to doubt Vladimir Putin tried to help President Trump win, Nielsen answered she was "not aware" of the conclusion that Putin's "specific intent was to help President Trump win".

Though the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced just days later that there were no classified emails found and that it would not change the conclusion that Clinton committed no crime, Nate Silver believes that the damage was done.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his hopes for improved relations with the U.S. under President Donald Trump are all but dashed.

Shortly afterwards, Nielsen tried to clarify her statement by saying its unclear if Russian Federation had a "specific intent" favoring Trump - based on the actions they took in their 2016 cyber campaign. "But I do generally have no reason to doubt any intelligence assessment".

Clapper continued to address the recent barrage of both tweets and oral attacks from the President and his allies by reiterating that his work as director of national intelligence related to Trump and his campaign was about trying to determine what the Russians were doing to interfere with American elections.

Following Nielsen's apparent "unawareness" of the report's findings, the DHS issued a statement in an attempt to clarify her stance on the topic. Nielsen joined FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in the closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill.

The findings also stated the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the NSA, all agree with the report that Russian Federation interfered in the elections with the goal of making Trump the next president. They surmised she might have been trying to avoid upsetting Trump, who - along with House Republicans - has sought to discredit the idea that Russian Federation favored his candidacy over that of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

"Do you have any reason to doubt the January 17th [2017] Intelligence Committee assessment that said it was [Russian President] Vladimir Putin who tried to meddle in this election to help President Trump?"

"We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump", it states. "Russian goals included undermining faith in the US democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency".

But the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan fashion, recently affirmed the conclusion.

The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee's Republican majority, however, said it found "no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians".

Clapper has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of Trump among former leaders of the intelligence community since resigning in November, 2016.

  • Latoya Cobb