May 24, 2018

Former Intelligence chief James Clapper appeared on PBS Newshour last night, and told Judy Woodruff he believes the Russians handed the election to Trump.

"One of the things you write or have spoken about, I should say, in addition to writing about it very candidly is how you have concluded after what happened in 2016 that the Russians not only affected -- tried to affect the election, but you said they actually did affect the outcome," Woodruff said. "What did you mean?"

"Well, first, I need to make clear that, when we did our formal intelligence community assessment in January of 2017, we did not make any call at all about whether the Russians affected the outcome of the election," Clapper said.

"We didn't have the authority, charter or capability to do that. Since I left the government, though, as a private citizen, it's what I would call my informed opinion that, given the massive effort the Russians made and the number of citizens that they touched and the variety and the multi-dimensional aspects of what they did to influence opinion and affect the election, and given the fact that it turned on less than 80,000 votes in three states, to me, it just exceeds logic and credulity that they turned the election."

He also said "there's an assault on our institutions both internally from both internal and external sources. The external source is Russia. The internal source is our president, is attacking these institutions that have served this country long and well. you know there's not a whole lot of -- these are actually fragile, and if they're not protected and nurtured over time, we risk losing them, and not all that much different between where we are today and being a banana republic."

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