Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper said July 28 that the top three issues he would brief the next president-elect on are cyber threats, the Islamic State and Russia.
The cyber aspect would include capabilities of both nation states and non-nation states, Clapper said in response to a question at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo. “If you’re going to limit me to three, those are probably the three I’d pick,” he said.
Cybersecurity and anti-terrorism efforts are both a “long-haul proposition,” Clapper said earlier in the event. Meanwhile, Russia is “paranoid” about a potential revolution in its own country and sees “a U.S. conspiracy behind every bush.” While declining to comment on allegations that Russia was behind the recent hack of the Democratic National Committee, he said that “the cyber realm opens up a whole range of possibilities for them.”
Clapper said Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump are both now entitled to receive classified, “fairly general” intelligence briefings that cater to their interests. The winner of the November election will get to receive more comprehensive and detailed briefings, “to include intelligence enterprise capabilities that a president-elect needs to know about.”
Also during the Aspen event, Clapper urged European nations to do a better job of sharing intelligence with each other. While such cooperation between the United States and Europe is robust, “getting them to share among themselves, particularly given the migration crisis, [is something] they need to do,” he said. “They realize that and they’re working toward that.”