by Amna El Tawil
Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden, confirmed today that the intelligence community briefed him and the President, Barack Obama, on the report alleging Russia worked with President-elect Trump to defeat Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Biden said that neither he nor President Obama asked U.S. intelligence agencies to try to corroborate the unverified claims that Russia had obtained compromising sexual and financial allegations about Trump.
He said: “I think it’s something that obviously the agency thinks they have to track down. It surprised me in that it made it to the point where the agency, the FBI thought they had to pursue it.”
Biden criticized Trump for publicly disparaging intelligence officials, explaining that Trump was damaging U.S. standing and playing directly into Russia’s hands. The Vice President also took the opportunity to express his dissatisfaction regarding Trump’s comments accusing intelligence agencies of allowing the information to leak publicly and drawing a comparison to “living in Nazi Germany.”
Biden said: “The one thing you never want to invoke is Nazi Germany, no matter what the circumstances. It’s an overwhelming diversion from the point you’re trying to make.”
In that particular briefing, Biden and Obama received from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and others, there were “no conclusions drawn“. Biden said it was “totally ancillary” to the purpose of the meeting, which was to brief the President on a report he ordered documenting Russian interference in the U.S. campaign.
Biden describes: “As a matter of fact, the president was like, ‘What does this have anything to do with anything? He said intelligence leaders responded by saying “Well, we feel obliged to tell you, Mr. President, because you may hear about it. We’re going to tell him (Trump).”
Intelligence leaders told both Biden and Obama that they couldn’t say whether or not the allegations were true or untrue.
Joe Biden also criticized Trump’s rocky relationship with intelligence officials, since he’s going to collaborate with them during his presidency. The Politico reports that Biden said he’s personally written a collection of memos for Pence, detailing what to say and what not to say in hotspots like Ukraine and Iraq, who to trust and not to trust, and “my perspective on the things that could explode most easily.”
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