While offering assurances that the intelligence community didn't leak details of compromising information that Russian intelligence had allegedly gathered on President-elect Donald Trump, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seemingly contradicted claims by members of the real estate developer's team that Trump was never briefed on the dossier.
“This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday,” Clapper wrote in a memo, saying he expressed “profound dismay” about the leaks.
“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,” 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. 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.”
Vice President Joe Biden confirmed to the Associated Press on Thursday that he and President Obama had been briefed on allegations about connections between Trump and Russia.
“I think it's something that obviously the agency thinks they have to track down,” Biden told the AP. No conclusions were drawn about the dossier and the vice president called it “totally ancillary” to the purpose of the briefing, which was to inform Obama about Russia's meddling in the election. Biden also said Obama asked what the dossier had “to do with anything” and was told that Trump would be told about it.