President-elect Donald Trump and his supporter’s desperate wish for information about the Russian government’s involvement in stealing the presidential election to be brushed under the rug is not going to happen. During a Senate hearing the top intelligence official of the United States confirmed the government’s belief that the Russians were involved.
James Clapper, a retired 3-star general and the current Director of National Intelligence, officially testified on Jan. 5 that the Russian government pursued a propaganda campaign to undermine American democracy.
Sen. Jack Reed asked Clapper, “One of the aspects of this Russian hacking was not just disseminating information they had exploited from computers, but also the allegations of fake news sites, fake news stories that were propagated. Is that an accurate … is that one aspect of this problem?” Clapper responded with an answer that has already been widely discussed following the election. Not only did the Russian government hack the Democratic party’s email server, they also employed other propaganda tools as well:
This was a multifaceted campaign. So the hacking was only one part of it, and it also entailed classical propaganda, disinformation, fake news.
Clapper was further asked if the Russian propaganda campaign was still ongoing, and he simply said “yes.”
The testimony by Clapper is devastating for Trump’s efforts to cozy up to Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. In terms of U.S. intelligence, the buck stops with Clapper. The office of the Director of National Intelligence was created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks as a way to streamline information sharing between all intelligence agencies.
The Director of National Intelligence sits at the head, and is the defacto leader, of the 16 member intelligence community. Clapper oversees the operations of the Twenty-Fifth Air Force, Intelligence and Security Command, Central Intelligence Agency, Coast Guard Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Office of National Security Intelligence, Intelligence Branch, Marine Corps Intelligence, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, National Security Agency, Central Security Service, and the Office of Naval Intelligence.
Clapper is the principal adviser to the President of the United States in all intelligence related matters.
Watch the full Senate hearing below:
Lou Colagiovanni is an investigative journalist living in Las Vegas who specializes in politics and crime. His work has been highlighted all over the world and he is regularly featured on television and radio.