America's top intelligence official, James Clapper, declared Thursday that Russia undoubtedly interfered in US 2016 presidential election but stopped short of using the explosive description as an act of war.
The Homeland Security Department and the intelligence community declared that U.S. was confident of foreign meddling in the presidential campaign, including Russian government hacking of Democratic party emails.
The intelligence community has stated that Moscow interfered to help Republican Donald Trump win.
"We stand actually more resolutely on the strength of that statement than we did on the 7th of October," James Clapper declared.
Pressed by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., on whether these actions constituted an "act of war," James Clapper said that this was "a very heavy policy call".
Trump attacked U.S. intelligence agencies because of WikiLeaks founder
Clapper pushed back against a strong criticism leveled against U.S. intelligence agencies by Donald Trump lately and the Trump's apparent embrace of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder.
Clapper declared Assange is "holed up" in the Embassy of Ecuador in London, and he can not leave without being arrested for breaching his bail conditions.
Sanctions against Russia by Obama
President Obama has received a report on the Russian and other foreign meddling in the U.S. election, according to Clapper. He and other senior U.S. intelligence officials believe that Russia poses a major threat to U.S. government, diplomatic, military and commercial operations.
Obama struck back in late December with penalties aimed at Russia's leading spy agencies such as the GRU and FSB, that were involved according to U.S.
But Trump easily could rescind the sanctions, he has rejected the idea that Russia is responsible for the attacks. Trump increased his criticism of U.S. intelligence by tweeting that an upcoming briefing on the suspected Russian hacking had been delayed, and added, "perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!"