U.S. intelligence says Russia is interfering in presidential election
President Trump said he was not informed of this, while Senator Sanders claims he was notified of Russian interference in his campaign.
WASHINGTON – The White House and American intelligence are increasingly being asked to declassify some information and tell the public about possible Russian attempts to interfere in the upcoming presidential election.
Much of these calls come from former U.S. intelligence and security officials, a frustrated series of leaks that have led to reports that Russia is trying to support the campaigns of both President Donald Trump and one of his Democratic rivals, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont..
The White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment when Voice of America asked them if they were considering a plan to release some intelligence..
While in India, US President Donald Trump expressed outrage at the intelligence leaks, calling reports of Russian interference to aid his campaign or the efforts of Democratic race leader Bernie Sanders "grossly exaggerated.".
“Intelligence never told me,” he told reporters. "And we have a couple of people who would be very knowledgeable.".
Other Trump administration officials have also vehemently denied reports of Russian interference to boost the president's chances..
However, Sanders confirmed Friday that American intelligence had warned him of Russian interference. He later warned Moscow against interfering in American politics..
Given these conflicting comments, former intelligence and security officials have called for some kind of disclosure..
"I would definitely support it, no matter what it says," said "Voice of America"former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin. "We don't know the whole picture yet.".
Other former intelligence officials agree with him..
“Signs and warnings of threats to our democratic process are not good wine that only gets better over time,” said former chief of staff Daniel Hoffman..
“2016 taught us that we need a coordinated assessment based on facts, not on hints and low-quality analysis with a biased bias towards confirmation,” he added..
“I have no problem with that,” said US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien in an interview with CBS's Face the Nation program on Sunday..
"If there is intelligence that we can declassify, that we can extract, then so much the better, because in 2016 we were not [in the White House] when there was interference in the previous elections, the administration did very little about it," he added.
However, some of the 2016 administration officials blame the Trump administration for doing even less..
“It is imperative that the Trump administration declassifies what we know, for the intelligence community to describe the situation publicly, so that voters are armed with this information,” Jay Johnson, a former Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama, said at a forum in Detroit on Monday..
“This is exactly what we did in the previous administration,” he added, citing a statement issued by him and other senior officials in October 2016 that accused Russia of hacking and leaking the correspondence of the Democratic National Committee..