Senior U.S. officials urged Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe not to release information about a Russian intelligence product containing unverified allegations about Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election, advice that President Trump’s spy chief ignored, according to people familiar with the matter.

Officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, as well as nonpolitical career personnel within Mr. Ratcliffe’s office, feared that sharing the information with Congress would give credence to unsubstantiated Kremlin-backed material. They argued the claim was sourced to Russian intelligence services that interfered in the 2016 election to denigrate Mrs. Clinton, and could have been deliberate disinformation, the people said…

Mr. Ratcliffe’s decision to release the material over career officials’ objections prompted criticism from Democratic lawmakers and former senior U.S. intelligence officials—many of whom have served both Republican and Democratic administrations—that Mr. Ratcliffe is using his position to help Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign.