July 16, 2018 / 6:57 PM / a month ago

After Helsinki, U.S. intel chief defends findings on Russian meddling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. intelligence community has been clear about the threat posed by Russian political interference and will continue “to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence” assessments, the Director of National Intelligence said on Monday.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats departs after a classified briefing for the U.S. congressional leadership from FBI and intelligence officials on the FBI probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election held in the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

U.S. President Donald Trump, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, said he saw no reason to believe his own intelligence agencies rather than trust the Kremlin leader on the question of whether Russia interfered to help him win the 2016 presidential election.

“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy,” the director, Dan Coats, said in a statement.

Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by James Dalgleish

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