James Clapper says he expressed "profound dismay" in meeting with Trump about leaks
Following a whirlwind of media attention surrounding a 35-page report alleging Donald Trump's deep ties to Russia, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took a meeting with the president-elect to express his "profound dismay" at the leaks.
In an official statement on Wednesday, Clapper affirmed that the document — which BuzzFeed published in full — is not a "U.S. intelligence community product," and said he doesn't believe the leak came from within any intelligence agency.
"The [intelligence community] 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," Clapper wrote, apparently referencing intelligence reports regarding Russian hacks.
But despite Clapper making clear that the intelligence community hadn't reached a judgment about the contents of the document, when Trump tweeted about his phone call with Clapper he said the report was comprised of "made up, phony facts."
The claim that has incited the most commotion is, of course, word that Trump hired sex workers to "perform a 'golden showers' (urination) show" in front of him at the Moscow's Ritz Carlton Hotel, defiling the bed that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama had once slept in.
Before these revelations, CNN had reported U.S. intelligence officials had presented both Obama and Trump with a two-page dossier containing evidence of "compromising personal and financial information" Russia had over Trump. After BuzzFeed published what it said was the report from which the dossier originated, CNN updated its story to make clear that the outlet wouldn't report on the details of the 35-page report — which their staff had also obtained — until they were able to independently corroborate the claims.
Still, CNN stated that the outlet had been in contact with "multiple high-ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos" to prepare its current reportage on them.
At the end of Clapper's Wednesday statement, he wrote that during their meeting Trump "affirmed his appreciation" for the members of the intelligence community, despite continually throwing skepticism at the veracity of its reports.
Clapper finished, "I assured him the [intelligence community] stands ready to serve his administration and the American people."
Jan. 12, 2017, 8:37 a.m. Eastern: This story has been updated.