CNN host Poppy Harlow was forced to correct Michael Allen, the House Intelligence Committee staff director, on Thursday after he insisted that the Russian government preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
During a discussion about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s hearing into Russian involvement in the U.S. elections, Allen described the effort as “an educational series of hearings — maybe even historic — as we as a country try and wake up and look at what Russia is doing.”
“They are working against the United States across the world,” he continued. “And while they may have favored Hillary Clinton over President Trump, they still aren’t all of the sudden looking to be friendly with the United States.”
“Who may have favored Hillary Clinton?” Harlow interrupted.
“While the Russians may have favored Hillary Clinton over President Trump,” Allen repeated, “they don’t now love us or otherwise want to see anything other than sort of sowing confusion and a lack of confidence in our institutions here in the United States.”
“What is your belief based on?” Harlow pressed. “That you say that the Russians in this election favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, what evidence is that based on?”
Allen stated incorrectly that both the intelligence community and FBI Director James Comey had come to the conclusion that Russia wanted Clinton to win the 2016 election.
“They did not go as far as to say Hillary Clinton,” Harlow pointed out.
CNN contributor Nia-Malika Henderson noted that 17 intelligence agencies and Comey came to the conclusion that Russia favored a Trump victory.
“They didn’t favor her and they favored another candidate who was Donald Trump,” Henderson said. “So, I’m not sure if you’re misremembering or misstating. I just don’t know what your evidence is. Because everything we’ve seen so far has suggested that this effort was to undermine Hillary Clinton and to ultimately favored Donald Trump.”
Harlow added: “As a point of clarification, Nia’s reporting on this is correct. In fact, that January 6th [intelligence] report and Comey’s investigation did not say that Russia was favoring Clinton in all this. Just a point of fact.”
Watch the video below from CNN, broadcast March 30, 2017.