Clapper Acknowledges Trump Proposals Would Enhance Military Capabilities Against Russia

SEN. TOM COTTON (R-ARKANSAS): In your 53 years of intelligence, is ascertaining the motives, plans and intentions of foreign leaders among the hardest tasks that we ask our intelligence services to perform? DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE JAMES CLAPPER: It always has been. COTTON: There's a widespread assumption -- this has been expressed by Secretary Clinton herself since the election -- that Vladimir Putin favored Donald Trump in this election. Donald Trump has proposed to increase our defense budget, to accelerate nuclear modernization, to accelerate ballistic missile defenses, and to expand and accelerate oil and gas production which would obviously harm Russia's economy. Hillary Clinton opposed or at least was not as enthusiastic about all those measures. Would each of those put the United States in a stronger strategic position against Russia? CLAPPER: Certainly anything we do to enhance our military capabilities, absolutely. COTTON: There is some contrary evidence, despite what the media speculates, that perhaps Donald Trump is not the best candidate for Russia.