Robert Gehl reports that Michael Morell, who served as acting director of the CIA several times in the Obama Administration, was first in line to become CIA director if Hillary Clinton was elected president.
He attended an event for the intelligence website “Cipher Brief” Wednesday, and said that there’s simply no proof of a link between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all,” Morell said, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”
This is a change of heart from what Morell said back in August when he endorsed Clinton. In a New York Times op-ed, he wrote that “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”
Morell said that the comments from James Clapper sealed the deal for him. Clapper is the former Director of National Intelligence and said he has not seen any evidence of a Russian conspiracy.
“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” he said. The Washington Free Beacon reports:
The former acting CIA Director also had strong statements about the unverified private intelligence dossier, written by Christopher Steele and released by Buzzfeed, that contained unverified allegations regarding ties between Trump and the Russian government.
“Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t,” Morell said.
He continues to believe that the Russian campaign of hacking, leaking and fake news, which the CIA says was designed to hurt Clinton and help Trump, was a hugely consequential action to which the U.S. has not sufficiently responded.
“This has never happened before in American history on this scale, never not even close. And Putin did not pay any price for this — nothing,” Morell said.