Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, said Thursday that Mr. Trump appreciated a Wednesday phone call from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, but did not say whether Mr. Trump believes Mr. Clapper’s statement that he doesn’t think U.S. intelligence was behind recent leaks.
“The president-elect was very happy to receive the call from Mr. Clapper — very happy that Mr. Clapper agrees with him … that there should be no leaks,” Ms. Conway said on NBC’s “Today” program.
In a statement Wednesday, Mr. Clapper said he expressed “profound dismay” at recent leaks that have been appearing in the press.
The director said he did not believe the recent leak of a “private security company document,” apparently alleging Russian claims that they had compromising information on Mr. Trump, came from within the U.S. intelligence community.
Asked if she still believes there’s a chance it came from the intelligence community, Ms. Conway said: “What I believe doesn’t matter.”
“What matters is that the president-elect had a briefing by the four top intelligence officers in our nation last week,” she said. “Then, no sooner do they have it than people are leaking information.”
Mr. Clapper also said he emphasized the document was not a U.S. intelligence product and that it hasn’t made any judgment that the information within is reliable.
Asked whether Mr. Trump believes Mr. Clapper that U.S. intelligence was not the source, Ms. Conway said: “Mr. Trump was very happy to receive that information from Mr. Clapper, and he has great respect for the intelligence community.”
“He said that last Friday, and he said it again last night,” she said.
Asked whether he believes it, Ms. Conway said you’d have to ask Mr. Trump what he believes.
“What he believes is that we’re at a very fraught time, that we have leaks on sensitive information for political purposes,” she said. “That’s dangerous stuff.”
• David Sherfinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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