After Helsinki, U.S. intel chief defends findings on Russian meddling


FILE PHOTO - Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coats testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. intelligence community has been clear about the threat posed by Russian political interference and will continue "to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence" assessments, the Director of National Intelligence said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump, after meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, said he saw no reason to believe his own intelligence agencies rather than trust the Kremlin leader on the question of whether Russia interfered to help him win the 2016 presidential election.

"We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy," the director, Dan Coats, said in a statement.

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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