The Director of National Intelligence has released a statement saying that the unverified dossier containing supposed Intel on President-elect Donald Trump could have an impact on national security.
James Clapper said he reached out to Trump Wednesday to discuss the unconfirmed report, which was chock full of lurid details concerning the president-elect's dealings in Russia.
“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," Clapper said in a statement Wednesday.
The statement went on: "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 [intelligence community] 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.”
The allegations about Trump are contained in a 35-page document published by Buzzfeed, which admits the file is unconfirmed and includes errors.
More is being learned about how the dossier came to be compiled and who commissioned it. It was financed by a wealthy Republican donor who despised Trump and allegedly hired a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal to dig up dirt on the real estate mogul during the presidential campaign.
That former reporter, believed to be Glenn Simpson, in turn reportedly hired a retired British spy named Christopher Steele who had extensive contacts in Moscow.
Steele is now reportedly in hiding after fleeing his home in such a hurry that he told his neighbor, "look after my cat."
During a press conference Wednesday, Trump got into a shouting match with CNN Reporter Jim Acosta after the network reported the unsubstantiated allegations that Russia has compromising information about the president-elect.
Trump would not take Acosta’s questions during the press conference, repeatedly dismissing the reporter, calling him rude and demeaning his employer as "fake news."
Appearing on the network Thursday morning, Acosta stood his ground.
“I am going to do the news. We are going to keep doing the news and that is not going to stop. He can kick us out, they can kick us out of Pennsylvania Avenue and we will set up our trucks right there and continue to do the news from there,” he declared.
Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway repeatedly clashed with Anderson Cooper Wednesday night on his CNN show, AC360, as they discussed the dossier.
“I’m surprised you're arguing with me. It has not been backed up by credible news sources and you know as well as I do these rumors were running around for months. Every news outlet was chasing these rumors,” Conway said.
“We are not reporting rumors,” Copper rebutted.
She fired back: “Anderson, because CNN went first and had this breathless report, everybody said it was a bombshell, Earth-shattering report last night—“
He declared: “We didn't say it was a bombshell."
"It says right here, intel chiefs presented Trump with Russian claims of information to compromise him," she interjected.
“Where's the word bombshell?” Cooper asked.