Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made it plain: Russia's interference undermined our presidential election and cast serious doubts over the very legitimacy of the results.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has been holding the line against Donald Trump's repeated lies about the intelligence community's assessment of Russia's interference in our election.
Contrary to Trump's claims, the FBI, CIA, and NSA agree that Russia set out to undermine the election, to smear Hillary Clinton, and generally do their damnedest to get Trump in the White House. The declassified version of the findings pulls few punches.
Until now, however, all involved have declined to say plainly what is increasingly clear: Russia didn't just try to undermine the 2016 election — it succeeded.
But Clapper just took that next step.
Speaking with CNN's Erin Burnett, Clapper stated plainly that "Our intelligence community assessment [about Russia] did cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election."
Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory in the election, and I think that, above all else, is what concerned him. And I think that transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process — which, by the way, is going to continue.
Perhaps Clapper just decided enough evidence has become public that there's no more need to mince words.
Or perhaps he was moved to comment by Trump's increasingly unhinged responses to the mounting evidence of campaign collusion with Russia, and special counselor Robert Mueller's growing focus on Trump's role.
But Clapper will likely soon have plenty of company: Mueller's investigation is now "at a critical stage." As it progresses, and as Trump and his associates face growing pressure, the dam will surely break.