After 100+ media outlets promote the claim that all 17 intelligence agencies concluded that Russia was behind hacking, based solely on the assumption that since the Director of National Intelligence oversees all 17 US intelligence agencies, and the DNI released a press releases talking about Russia being behind hacking, therefore all 17 agencies must have considered and concluded that Russia was behind the hacking.
So while the DNI published the report as an intelligence community assessment, Former Director of National Intelligence Clapper clarified at his congressional hearing that the report reflects the views of the CIA, NSA and the FBI alone. In fact, when questioned by Democratic Senator Al Franken, Clapper resisted the notion that all 17 agencies had reached a consensus.
Franken: The intelligence communities have concluded, all 17 of them, that Russia interfered with this election. And we all know how that’s right.
Clapper: Senator, as I pointed out in my statement, Senator Franken, it was- there were only three agencies that directly involved in this assessment plus my office.
Franken: But all 17 signed on to that?
Clapper: Well, we didn’t go through that process. This was a special situation because of the time limits and […] the sensitivity of the information, we decided – it was a conscious judgment – to restrict it to those three. I’m not aware of anyone who dissented, or disagreed when it came out.