Ex-intel chief: 'No evidence whatsoever' anyone but Russia interfered in election

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday he saw no evidence that anyone besides Russia attempted to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, despite President Trump's comments.

"As far as others doing this, well that's new to me," Clapper, who served under former President Obama, said during an interview on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"We saw no evidence whatsoever that [there] was anyone involved in this other than the Russians," he said.  

Clapper's comments draw a contrast from Trump, who declined earlier Thursday to single out Russia for interference in the 2016 White House race.

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Trump asserted in Poland that other countries besides Russia likely meddled in the U.S. election and that "nobody really knows."

"I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries," Trump said during a joint news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

CNN reported Thursday that Russian intelligence agents had stepped up their intelligence gathering efforts in the U.S. following the 2016 election.

Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to have their first high-stakes meeting Friday while in Germany at the G-20 Summit.

Clapper, who oversaw U.S. intelligence agencies when the Obama administration accused Russia of launching an influence campaign last year, insisted that Russia was now focused on being in a position to try to influence upcoming elections in the U.S., including the 2018 midterms.

"They're going to stretch the envelop as far as they can to collect information, and I think largely, if I can use the military phrase, prep the battlefield for the 2018 elections," he said.