11:56 Jul. 29, 2016
James Clapper calls Putin paranoid
US top intelligence official called the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to potentially influence the upcoming US election "a serious proposition," but he urged an end to "the hyperventilation over this," Associated Press reports.
"Was this to just stir up trouble or was this ultimately to try to influence an election? Of course, that's a serious proposition," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at the annual Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colorado.
Clapper said the US government is not "quite ready yet" to "make a public call" on who was behind the cyber assault, but he suggested one of "the usual suspects" is likely to blame. According to government sources, Russia is the most likely culprit.
Asked whether Russia might have intentions to undermine the US political process, Clapper said Russian President Vladimir Putin is "paranoid" about the potential for revolutions in Russia, "and of course, they see a US conspiracy behind every bush, and ascribe far more impact than we're actually guilty of."
"They believe we're trying to influence political developments in Russia, we're trying to affect change, and so their natural response is to retaliate and do unto us as they think we've done to them," he added.