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Intel Chief Releases Statement After Speaking to Trump: I Expressed ‘Profound Dismay’ at Leaks

clapperDirector of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a rare statement tonight after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent information leaked to the press.

Last night there were two big reports on intel alleging that Russia has lots of supposedly compromising but unverified information about Trump. There’s been a lot of skepticism about these reports in the past 24 hours, and Trump himself tweeted this morning criticizing intel leaks:

Well, Trump ended up meeting with Clapper. In a statement tonight, Clapper confirmed that he did conduct a briefing with the president-elect last Friday and said he’s dismayed by the leaks. Multiple reports say Trump and Clapper spoke tonight by phone.

You can read the full statement here:

This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday. 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.

We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it. 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. 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. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.

President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community, and I assured him that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

[image via screengrab]

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Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac