NBC's Lauer Lets Kellyanne Conway Lie About What Intelligence Head Said About The Dossier On Trump And Russia

The Statement By Director Of National Intelligence James Clapper Said The Intelligence Community “Has Not Made Any Judgment” On The Document

NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer affirmed President-elect Donald Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway's false claim that a January 11 statement from Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper “gave no credibility and veracity” to a dossier provided to the intelligence community (IC) alleging Russian operatives may have compromising information about Trump. In fact, Clapper's statement only said, “The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions.” Furthermore, multiple media figures pointed out that the DNI statement confirms CNN’s initial report that the information had been shared with Trump in a January 6 briefing. From the January 12 edition of NBC's Today:

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MATT LAUER (CO-HOST): James Clapper called the president-elect last night and said, “Mr. President-elect, I don't believe this release or these leaks came from the intelligence community.” Does Mr. Trump believe James Clapper?

KELLYANNE CONWAY: The president-elect was very happy to receive the call from Mr. Clapper. Very happy that Mr. Clapper agrees with him, Matt, that there should be no leaks. I mean why intelligence officials or other people are leaking to the media, rather than making sure that the president-elect and indeed President Obama himself are briefed on sensitive information, I think is really the point here. 

LAUER: Well you just said it again. You just said intelligence officials or someone else. Do you still believe that there's a chance this came from the intelligence community? 

CONWAY: What I believe doesn't matter. But here's what does matter. What matters is that the president-elect had a briefing by the four top intelligence officers in our nation last week. We were very happy to receive them here at Trump Tower and for the president-elect and vice president-elect to get that briefing. Then no sooner do they have it that people are leaking information. What struck me most in Mr. Clapper's public statement that I'm sure your viewers can access for themselves, is Mr. Clapper re-emphasizing that the intelligence community gave no credibility and veracity to the fake news documents.

LAUER: And I agree, and I agree exactly --

CONWAY: And that's really important here because -- that's very important here because I don't want people to leave thinking that it's been imbued with some kind of credibility. Really it was NBC News who broke the story yesterday, so good for you, that it says on your website that Donald Trump was not briefed on this intelligence matter. 

LAUER: And I just want to just in two seconds, does Mr. Trump believe Mr. Clapper that this did not come from intelligence? 

CONWAY: Mr. Trump was very happy to receive that information from Mr. Clapper. And he has great respectfor the intelligence community. He said that last Friday, and he said it again last night. 

MEREDITH VIEIRA (CO-HOST): But again, does he believe it? Yes or no? 

CONWAY: You have to ask him what he believes. But what he believes is that we're at a very fraught time, that we have leaks on sensitive information for political purposes. And Meredith and Matt, I'm sure we all agree, as do all Americans, that's dangerous stuff. We simply can't -- I mean here we are, our hands are tied because we can't discuss private, sensitive information. And yet, others are doing it, and they should not be.