Courtesy of CNN:
In his opening questions to Clapper, Committee Chairman John McCain noted the Intelligence Community's conclusion that the cyberthefts and disclosures were intended to interfere with the US election process and could only have been authorized by Russia's most senior levels.
"We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement that we made on the seventh of October," Clapper said. After the election, the Intelligence Community concluded that at least one Russian motive had been to help Trump win.
Clapper said that the hacking did not succeed in changing any vote tallies, but that it was impossible for intelligence to assess how the information released from the breaches affected voters' attitudes.
McCain emphasized the Russian role and delivered an implicit rebuke to Trump, who has urged people to "move on" from the issue of Moscow-directed hacking.
I actually disagree that there is no evidence that the Russian hacks impacted the vote tallies.
In fact if you go through this timeline presented by ABC News you can see for yourself how the leaked information, carefully disseminated by Wikileaks over a period of four months, slowly eroded the trust for the DNC and later for Clinton herself.
I think without that, and the help of FBI Director Comey, Donald Trump would have had no way in hell of winning this election.
Wikileaks, which I now consider to be a propaganda outlet for Russia, also fed into conspiracy theories about a Clinton earpiece, and even diagnosed her with a fake disease.
You do not get to hold yourself out as a paragon of truth and justice once you engage in that kind of conspiratorial nonsense.
Clapper and McCain also have little use for Julian Assange:
McCain asked Clapper whether Assange had endangered men and women serving the US with his earlier release of State Department cables.
"Yes, he has," Clapper said.
McCain then asked whether Assange should be accorded any credibility -- another implicit rebuke of Trump. Clapper responded, "No, he should not."
And yet this is the guy that Donald Trump thinks the American people should listen to and consider as reputable as our own intelligence agencies.
I have to admit that I was really fascinated by the hearing, and watched the entire thing from start to finish.
At one point Director Clapper was asked by Lindsey Graham if he was prepared to be challenged by Donald Trump tomorrow when he provides a briefing, and he smiled and said yes and that he welcomes the exchange.
In other words Clapper, and the other intelligence professionals, are confident that the information that they have to share will be more than enough to convince even someone as dimwitted as Donald Trump.
It will be interesting to see if tomorrow's Trump tweets don't have a completely different tenor than the ones before the briefing.
How did NBC get "an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented?" Who gave them this report and why? Politics!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
By the way considering what James Comey did to sabotage Hillary's chances of winning the election, I do not blame the DNC for keeping the FBI away from their hard drives.So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
If in fact that's what happened.
Update: Former CIA Director, James Wolsey, has just quit as a Trump advisor.
I am not sure what that means, but I bet it means something.