SalonTV exclusive: Clapper's theory on how US election became “ripe target” for Putin and Russian hackers


Former director of national intelligence James Clapper gives his take on what motivated Russia to get involved in the 2016 presidential election. On "Salon Talks," Clapper tied Russia's support for candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 race to Putin's deep disdain for Hillary Clinton. "Their first objective was simply to sow doubt, discord, discontent in this country, and I think they succeeded fairly well because we're a ripe target for that," Clapper told Salon's Andrew O'Hehir. "And secondly, because starting with a strong personal animus that Putin has for the Clintons, and specifically for Secretary Clinton, was to do everything they could to denigrate and marginalize her."

Clapper, whose new book "Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence" is out now, explained Russia's long history of undermining American democracy. "This is classic. It goes back to the Soviet era, and it's almost in their genes to do this. There's a fundamental resentment of the United States, starting with Vladimir Putin. He held Hillary Clinton responsible for prompting what he thought was another call to revolution to overturn him. With the Panama Papers, the doping scandal, and all these revelations, he deeply resented those."

Watch the video above for Clapper's assessment of the Steele dossier and check out the full interview for his reflections on the current state of the intelligence community. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on Salon, Facebook and Periscope.

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