Clapper: When I briefed Trump, he accepted DNC hacker wasn't 400-pound man

Clapper: When I briefed Trump, he accepted DNC hacker wasn't 400-pound man
© Greg Nash

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he felt President Trump accepted Russia's role in hacking the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when Clapper left a Trump Tower briefing on the incident in January. 

"When we briefed the president he didn’t say anything about the 400-pound guy in New Jersey because the evidence was so overwhelming," Clapper said on Thursday at the CyberSci conference in Fairfax, Va., which is organized by the strategic group ICF.

Clapper was referring to comments made during a presidential debate with Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump FBI informant gathered years of evidence on Russian push for US nuclear fuel deals, including Uranium One, memos show Pelosi blasts California Republicans for supporting tax bill MORE

ADVERTISEMENT
"She's saying Russia, Russia, Russia. Maybe it was. It could also be China. It could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds. You don't know who broke into DNC," said Trump. 

"I think it very well could be Russia, but I think it could very well have been other countries," Trump said of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Clapper said he wished the public could see the classified report shared with Trump in full, something he said would be impossible, lest the government expose sources and methods. 

Nine months after Clapper's meeting with Trump in January, the president has not publicly accepted the intelligence community's assessment of Moscow's involvement in the hacking and frequently refers to investigations into Russian involvement in the hacking as a "hoax."