07:49 GMT26 February 2020
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    James Clapper said that he was not aware of any information or evidence of US President Donald Trump's ties with Russian officials.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said on Friday that he was not aware of any information or evidence of US President Donald Trump's ties with Russian officials.

    "I don't know if there was [Trump-Russia] collusion or not. I don't know if there was evidence of collusion or not nor should I have," Clapper told MSNBC.

    Clapper added that at the end of his tenure, the DNI was focused on the intelligence community's assessment of the alleged Russian interference in 2016 presidential election. Moreover, convicting anyone of collusion with Moscow was out of his scope, Clapper stressed.

    However, the former DNI chief stated that it would be in everyone's interest to get to the bottom of the story, which would help to "clear the cloud" around the Trump administration.

    Russian officials have repeatedly denied election meddling, characterizing the allegations as absurd and intended to deflect public opinion from revealed instances of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.

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    DNI, James Clapper, United States, Russia
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