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Intel chief: Recent leaks 'corrosive and damaging'

The Hill logo The Hill 1/12/2017 Mallory Shelbourne
Intel chief: Recent leaks 'corrosive and damaging' © Provided by The Hill Intel chief: Recent leaks 'corrosive and damaging'

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he spoke with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday regarding leaks to the press and the recent unverified report alleging Russia has controversial information it could use against Trump.

"I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security," Clapper said in a statement.

Last week, the Intelligence Community released a report that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin called for an influence campaign to help Trump win the presidential election.

But in the classified report given to Trump, President Obama and leaders in Congress about Russian efforts, the Intelligence Community added a two-page synopsis of an unverified dossier that alleged the Kremlin had collected damaging intel about Trump and that Trump's aides and Russian intermediaries have been in contact throughout the campaign.

"I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC," Clapper said.

"The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions."

Clapper added that Trump "affirmed his appreciation" for those serving in the various intelligence agencies and "that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people."

In the months since winning the election, Trump has criticized the Intelligence Community over various reports about Russia's cyber activities.

After the Washington Post reported in December that the CIA concluded Russia tried to meddle in the U.S. election in an effort to help Trump win, the president-elect's transition team criticized the agency, referencing its intelligence about supposed weapons of mass destruction leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

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