The Director of National Intelligence (DNI), James Clapper, has been the center of an ongoing debate between Democrats and Republicans about Russia’s impact on our recent elections.
While Clapper agrees with the CIA that Russia was meddling in the election by hacking the DNC, he has also argued that they had no real impact on the election itself.
Clapper was on Capitol Hill Thursday testifying before Congress about Russia and other issues when he was asked if he could definitively link Russia to the hacks. Clapper refused to answer citing national security issues, sadly leaving the issue unresolved. However, one question that Clapper was willing to answer was about Donald Trump’s plans to reinforce our military and our intelligence agencies.
When Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) asked DNI Clapper if Donald Trump’s plans would make our nation stronger, Clapper replied that they “absolutely” would.
Senator Tom Cotton: There’s a widespread assumption — this has been expressed by Secretary Clinton herself since the election — that Vladimir Putin favored Donald Trump in this election.
Donald Trump has proposed to increase our defense budget, to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production which would obviously harm Russia’s economy. Hillary Clinton opposed or at least was not as enthusiastic about all those measures.
Would each of those put the United States in a stronger strategic position against Russia?
DNI James Clapper: Certainly anything we do to enhance our military capabilities, absolutely.
Senator Tom Cotton: There is some contrary evidence, despite what the media speculates, that perhaps Donald Trump is not the best candidate for Russia.