Recent reports that Russia is attempting to meddle in the 2020 elections in preference for President Donald Trump have been “mischaracterized,” CNN’s Jake Tapper reported Friday.
Tappers report–from an unnamed official–cuts against a narrative growing out of a House intelligence briefing that Russia is working to re-elect Trump. The “mischaracterization” came from Shelby Pierson, a top election-security official working in Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire’s office, according to Tapper.
“What’s been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn’t say that,” the official told Tapper. “The problem is Shelby said they developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it’s a step short of that.”
“It’s more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders or Buttigieg or anyone else, so it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby.”