Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Tuesday that Russia committed the most direct and aggressive act of election interference ever against America.
"There's been a long history of Soviet interference going back to the Soviet era in our elections, but never, ever has there been a case of the aggressiveness and direct actions that the Russians took and their conduct of a multifaceted campaign to interfere with our election," he said on CNN's "New Day."
In his past testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Clapper said, "The Russians used cyber operations against both political parties, including hacking into servers used by the Democratic National Committee and releasing stolen data to WikiLeaks and other media outlets. Russia also collected on certain Republican Party-affiliated targets, but did not release any Republican-related data."
Clapper also admitted that he hadn't seen any evidence linking Russia with President Donald Trump's campaign, but said that he hadn't known of FBI Director James Comey's investigation until he announced it publicly in March.
"Are you 100 percent sure that Russia was behind the election meddling that you described," host Chris Cuomo asked the former director on Tuesday.
"Absolutely," Clapper said. "The evidence, which unfortunately we could not detail in our intelligence community assessment, was, in my view, overwhelming. And that is why the assessment that we did enjoyed such a high confidence level."
He added that "we could not make a call whether or not this interference actually affected the outcome of the election. We did not see any evidence of voter tallying, that is the mechanical process of counting votes in any of the 50 states.
"But we had neither the authority, the expertise, nor the capability to assess whether or not this interference actually affected the outcome of the election."
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