Trump’s spy chief declassified a slew of documents that national security veterans say was part of an effort to boost the president’s Russia claims

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe released a slew of documents Tuesday that former US officials and national security veterans said are likely part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Included in the documents that Ratcliffe released Tuesday were handwritten notes from 2016 by then CIA director John Brennan after he briefed then-President Barack Obama on a US intelligence assessment of narratives that Russian security services were pushing at the time.

“We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” Brennan wrote, according to the notes, which were first reported on by Fox News. They also detailed an alleged “plan” that a foreign policy adviser to then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton cooked up “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”

The US intelligence community assessed with high confidence in early 2017 that the Russian government waged an unprecedented and elaborate campaign to interfere in the 2016 election to hurt Clinton and propel Trump to the Oval Office. That conclusion has been corroborated by a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report as well as the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling.

But Russian President Vladimir Putin and other officials maintain that the Kremlin did not interfere in the 2016 election in favor of Trump and that the Clinton campaign engineered the theory to distract from her own controversies. Putin also suggested that Ukraine, not Russia, was responsible for meddling in the election as part of an effort to get Clinton elected president.

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Ratcliffe first revealed the existence of the information contained in Brennan’s notes in a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham last month, in which he described a “Russian intelligence analysis” about the claim. The DNI declassified the information despite the fact that the US intelligence community “does …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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