Jun 15, 2018 - World

Clapper: There was a "suspect" in Kremlin-WikiLeaks DNC email transfer

Julian Assange seen through a window, looking down.

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange. Photo: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

U.S. intelligence identified a "suspect" that worked for Russian intelligence to pass Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and documents to WikiLeaks, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, told Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman on their podcast “Skullduggery.”

Yes, but: Clapper said he doesn’t know whether the suspicions were validated. He also doesn’t know whether they were conveyed to Special Counsel Bob Mueller. Intelligence officials were "pretty confident at the time" about the suspect, "but not sufficient enough to publicize it," Clapper said. Clapper served in his role until January 20, 2017.

Why it matters: This chips away at President Trump's repeated denial of assessments that Russia was behind the 2016 information breach. It also strikes another blow against WikiLeaks’ claims that it did not obtain the hacked emails from Russia.

  • Clapper said Russia ensured the transfer to WikiLeaks was done through a "cut-out" so that its founder, Julian Assange, would have "plausible deniability" about where the emails and documents came from.
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