>> There's a difference between skepticism and disparagement.>> Outgoing director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, making no effort to gloss over his annoyance at incoming President Donald Trump over the Russia hacking saga. At a tense Senate hearing Tuesday, Clapper standing firm saying Russia did intercede in the 2016 election with Putin likely pulling the strings, no matter what Donald Trump says and no matter how much he disparages American spies.
>> We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement that we made on the 7th of October. Whether or not that constitutes an act of war I think is a very heavy policy call. But it certainly would carry, in my view, great gravity.>> Foreign policy reporter Jonathan Landay was following the hearing.
>> Clapper was asked at one point whether the United States had evidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin was directly involved in authorizing the hacking of US political organizations. Clapper at first refused to answer that question. However, later in the hearing, he basically implied that in fact, the US does have such evidence, saying that Russia doesn't get involved in other countries' politics, unless it is authorized to do so by the very highest level of the Russian government.
>> Clapper's take on the Russian narrative coming just after President-Elect Donald Trump digging in even further suggested a plan briefing on the Russian hacking issue was pushed back to, quote, build a case. And referring to intelligence in quotation marks, which many took as a jab. The hearing, coming a day before the President-Elect is due to be briefed by the CIA and FBI on the hacks that targeted the Democratic party, with Trump still rejecting the agency's reported findings.
Later Thursday, Reuters learning Trump will name former Republican senator Dan Coats as his choice to take over from Clapper.