"I do not believe that I've seen that conclusion that the specific intent was to help President Trump win", she told reporters on Capitol Hill, following a briefing with lawmakers about election security efforts. Nielsen responded saying: "I do not believe that I've seen that conclusion".
Looking out at the crowd of students, who wore a range of humorous hats as part of a centuries-old tradition at Yale, Clinton said, "Now, I see looking out at you that you are following the tradition of over-the-top hats, so I brought a hat too".
"To make a statement that she's unaware of the specific evidence the Russians sought to help one of the candidate in the last presidential election shows a shocking either disregard of the facts or lack of preparedness", said House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat Adam B. Schiff (Calif.).
Nielson dodged the question by asserting that Russian Federation attempted to "manipulate public confidence on both sides".
Nielsen's statement appeared to directly contradict the findings of a 2017 intelligence assessment on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election that concluded Putin was interested in hurting Clinton's chances and later helping those of Donald Trump.
He also wants a "real-time communications channel" between the intelligence community and technology companies in order to assure that internet firms are notified if evidence emerges that Russian Federation is creating fake Facebook pages or taking other actions to try to influence the elections. "I think what they are trying to do is to disrupt our belief and our own understanding of what's happening", she said.
She made the remarks in response to a reporter's question after holding a classified meeting on 2018 election security with members of the House of Representatives. They surmised she might have been trying to avoid upsetting Trump, who - along with House Republicans - has sought to discredit the idea that Russian Federation favored his candidacy over that of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
"We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the United States presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the USA democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. All three agencies agree with this judgment", it continued. As The Daily Beast noted, Clapper is adamant that it was Russia's actions in interfering in the election that swung the race to Donald Trump. "Russian goals included undermining faith in the USA democratic process and harming a candidate's electability and potential presidency".
"We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump", it states. "Importantly, they targeted both major political parties".
But the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan fashion, recently affirmed the conclusion.
Law enforcement and intelligence officials say the administration's stance was consistent with customary law enforcement and intelligence agency practice to avoid influencing voters in the run-up to an election.