Yesterday was kind of a cluster in that Donald Trump, CNN, NBC and Trump’s team all had opinions about Donald Trump was briefed on Friday (I wrote about it extensively, here) in his meeting with members of the intelligence community. Buzzfeed, who is quickly relying on tactics employed by Gawker, released information in memos that were not part of any intelligence report, but did contain salacious information. CNN reported Trump was told of this information in a two page addendum to the report the IC put together.
The Trump team never disputed anything in the CNN story publicly but attempted to conflate what CNN did with what Buzzfeed did. Meanwhile, Trump supporters were praising Trump calling CNN, “Fake news” because of an NBC report that differed from what CNN reported. A source told me that while Cynthia McFadden is “a lot of great things…..she is not a national security reporter.”
James Clapper, the Director of National intelligence, released a statement today that appears to confirm CNN’s report, not NBC’s. Here is the statement:
This evening, I had the opportunity to speak with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss recent media reports about our briefing last Friday. I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.
We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it. I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC. The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions. However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.
President-elect Trump again affirmed his appreciation for all the men and women serving in the Intelligence Community, and I assured him that the IC stands ready to serve his Administration and the American people.
So the information was part of the documentation shown to Trump, contradicting what a “senior official” told NBC.