WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser says he has not seen any intelligence indicating that Russia is doing anything to help the president in the upcoming election as it did in 2016.
In this Jan. 20, 2020 file photo, national security adviser Robert O'Brien addresses reporters during a news conference in Berlin. O'Brien said he's seen no intelligence indicating that Russia is doing anything to try to help get the president re-elected. O'Brien's comments were released Saturday, Feb. 22, in a transcript of an interview with ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" set to air on Sunday. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, File)
Robert O’Brien’s comments were released Saturday in a transcript of an interview with ABC’s “This Week” that aired on Sunday.
O’Brien was asked about claims that an intelligence professional told the House Intelligence Committee that Russia’s aim was to favor Trump in the election.
O’Brien said he’d seen no intelligence or analysis to support the claim and said he doesn’t know whether individuals’ accounts of what the briefer said in the classified briefing are true.
Conflicting accounts have emerged from the closed-door briefing lawmakers got from intelligence officials.
One intelligence official said the lawmakers weren’t told that Russia was working to directly aid Trump, but others familiar with the meeting said they were told Russia was looking to help Trump’s candidacy.
O’Brien also denied reports that Trump was angered when told about the briefing and that he confronted former acting national intelligence director Joseph Maguire about it.
Trump has replaced Maguire with Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, who is expected to serve on a temporary basis.
Sen. Bernie Sanders acknowledged this week that he had been briefed by U.S. officials about Russian efforts to increase his chances of becoming the Democratic presidential nominee.
Trump said Sunday that he’s never been briefed about Russian efforts to help Sanders win the Democratic presidential nomination.
Trump is also accusing Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, of leaking information from the classified briefing. Schiff said that is a false accusation.
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