[S]everal former senior intelligence officials described Ratcliffe’s move as incendiary and irresponsible, given the manner in which he was publicly releasing unverified information from a foreign adversary.

The assessment claims that Hillary Clinton, then a Democratic candidate for president, personally approved an effort “to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.” But in his letter to Graham, Ratcliffe noted that the U.S. intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee issued five reports on Russia’s sweeping effort to meddle in the 2016 election to boost Trump, ranging across thousands of pages. The panel was made aware of that allegation early on in its investigation, and quickly dismissed it, the sources said.