President-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference since winning the presidency, to less-than-stellar reviews. Trump was combative and elusive when questioned about Russia’s involvement in his bid to become president and compared the U.S. intelligence agencies to Nazis after unclassified information was leaked to the press.
On Wednesday evening, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, released a rare statement in an attempt to smooth things over. Clapper assured the president-elect that the leaks did not come from inside the U.S. intelligence community, the New York Times reports.
“I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. intelligence community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC 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. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security,” Clapper’s statement read.
Clapper added that the intelligence community made no judgment on the documents or the allegations within. According to the Associated Press, the documents were passed around Washington for months before they began being reported on.
While nothing in Clapper’s letter indicated that the allegations were fictitious or false, that didn’t stop Trump from going to Twitter early Thursday morning to recount his interpretation of Clapper’s explanation.
It’s going to be a long four years.