As they made their way across Manhattan in separate convoys of black SUVs, they braced for a blowup.“We were prepared to be thrown out,” Clapper said in an interview. The officials were escorted into a spacious conference room on the 14th floor of Trump Tower.Trump administration officials defended the approach with Russia, insisting that their policies and actions have been tougher than those pursued by Obama but without unnecessarily combative language or posture. that the idea that he’s been put into office by Vladimir Putin is pretty insulting,” said a second senior administration official.“Our approach is that we don’t irritate Russia, we deter Russia,” a senior administration official said. But his views are “not a constraint” on the government’s ability to respond to future election threats, the official said.He railed that the intelligence couldn’t be trusted and scoffed at the suggestion that his candidacy had been propelled by forces other than his own strategy, message and charisma.The Washington Post examines how, nearly a year into his presidency, Trump continues to reject evidence that Russia supported his run for the White House as part of an unprecedented assault on a pillar of American democracy.
The officials had already briefed Obama and members of Congress.
Trump “has never said anything close to that and will never say anything close to that.” The feeble American response has registered with the Kremlin. Moscow has not achieved some its most narrow and immediate goals.
The annexation of Crimea from Ukraine has not been recognized. officials say the Kremlin sees its 2016 election interference campaign as a success, if an incomplete one. The United States’ closest alliances are frayed, and the Oval Office is occupied by a disruptive politician who frequently praises his counterpart in Russia.
In other cases, Trump’s main briefer — a veteran CIA analyst — adjusts the order of his presentation and text, aiming to soften the impact. Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said that the briefing is “written by senior-level, career intelligence officers” and that the intelligence community “always provides objective intelligence — including on Russia — to the president and his staff.” Trump’s aversion to the intelligence, and the dilemma that poses for top spies, has created a confusing dissonance on issues related to Russia.
“If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference — that takes the PDB off the rails,” said a second former senior U. The CIA continues to stand by its conclusions about the election, for example, even as the agency’s director, Mike Pompeo, frequently makes comments that seem to diminish or distort those findings. Comey traveled separately on an FBI Gulfstream aircraft, planning to extend his stay for meetings with bureau officials. The four men had convened a virtual meeting the previous evening, speaking by secure videoconference to plan their presentation to the incoming president of a classified report on Russia’s election interference and its pro-Trump objective.