Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified a Russian intelligence assessment that was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
The extraordinary disclosure, released to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) earlier Tuesday, rankled Democrats, who said the move effectively put Russian disinformation into the public sphere in order to boost President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims about the government’s efforts to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.
The assessment claims that Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic candidate for president, personally approved an effort “to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”
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— toomas hendrik ilves (@IlvesToomas) September 29, 2020