As the unverified Russia dossier saga continues, it seems President-elect Donald Trump is trying extremely hard to validate his claims that the reports are false.
In an effort to make his denial more credible, Trump posted a tweet saying that United States Director of National Intelligence James Clapper called him to denounce the dossier.
James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts.Too bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
It seems, however, Trump may have misinterpreted that phone call because Clapper’s own official statement contradicts Trump’s tweet.
In his three-paragraph statement, Clapper only addressed the veracity of the report one time, at which point he did not say that it was false, but rather made no judgment whatsoever.
“The IC [Intelligence Community] 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.”
It appears that Clapper neither confirmed nor denounced the information, and Trump completely misrepresented his position.
In his own statement, Clapper does not say in any way shape or form that the report is either false or fictitious. https://t.co/icmXugXvjG— Chemi Shalev (@ChemiShalev) January 12, 2017
CNN reporter Jake Tapper jumped into the fray and tweeted an entire breakdown of Clapper’s statement in defense of the network against Trump’s attacks.
There are 2 points Clapper makes here that deserve underlining. First, Intel Community has not made a judgment on info in "dossier." (1) https://t.co/ozgTXSDi9m— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(2) IC has "not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable." Also says document is not an IC product.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(3) so he's saying: this isn't ours. We can't say it's reliable. He does not make a judgment about any of the info in it one way or another.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(4) then he explains why IC shared w PEOTUS the 2-page synopsis broadly describing contents of dossier, as CNN and others reported.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(5) part of his obligation he says is to provide leaders w "fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(6) again, as we reported Tuesday, IC without vouching for UNCORROBORATED info wanted PEOTUS to know what credible sources were sharing.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
(7) those are just the facts. Have a great day!— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 12, 2017
During a press conference Wednesday and again on Twitter, Trump slammed CNN and called them “fake news,” but there has been no definitive indication that CNN reported anything inaccurate.
.@CNN is in a total meltdown with their FAKE NEWS because their ratings are tanking since election and their credibility will soon be gone!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2017
Trump is just looking for any way to discredit the dossier as it paints an incredibly unflattering picture of him days before he’s set to take office. Nevertheless, the information is out there, and at this point, it’s really up to the individual to decide what they believe until the verified truth is brought to light.