Thursday at the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing on cyber threats, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that alleged Russian hacking efforts did not involve the changing of vote tallies when asked by committee chairman Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Clapper would not say if such an effort constituted an act of war, nor would he say what impact the actual alleged hacking efforts had on last November’s presidential election outcome.
Partial transcript as follows:
MCCAIN: I thank you. And so really, what we’re talking about, is if they succeeded in changing the results of an election of which none of us believe they were, that would have to constitute an attack on the United States of America because of the effects, if they had succeeded, would you agree with that?
CLAPPER: First, we cannot say — they did not change any vote tallies or — or anything of that sort.
MCCAIN: Yeah, I’m just talking about…
CLAPPER: And we have no — we have no way of gauging the impact that — certainly the intelligence community can’t gauge the — the impact it had on the choices the electorate made. There’s no way for us to gauge that.
Whether or not that constitutes an act of war I think is a very heavy policy call that I don’t believe the intelligence community should make. But it’s certainly — would carry in my view great gravity.
MCCAIN: Thank you.
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