Why in the world would the mainstream media continue to take James Clapper seriously?
In March the former Director of National Intelligence under President Barack Obama appeared on Meet the Press to respond to President Donald Trump‘s now-infamous tweets regarding a “wiretap” related to his campaign during the Obama Administration. Host Chuck Todd asked Clapper point-blank whether any wiretap had occurred:
But I will say that, for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity mounted against– the president elect at the time, or as a candidate, or against his campaign. I can’t speak for other Title Three authorized entities in the government or a state or local entity.
Fmr. DNI Clapper: "There was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, president-elect, candidate or campaign." pic.twitter.com/yRIg2ygP59
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 5, 2017
Clapper’s answer appeared unequivocal, but there was still a little wiggle room. So Todd, to his credit, drilled down and asked a very specific question about a very specific scenario:
TODD: Yeah, I was just going to say, if the F.B.I., for instance, had a FISA court order of some sort for a surveillance, would that be information you would know or not know?
TODD: You would be told this?
CLAPPER: I would know that.
TODD: If there was a FISA court order–
TODD: –on something like this.
CLAPPER: Something like this, absolutely.
TODD: And at this point, you can’t confirm or deny whether that exists?
CLAPPER: I can deny it.
Now we learn that there was, in fact, a FISA court order and it came from the FBI and Clapper, in his own words, claimed he would have known about that. And he denied it, unequivocally. Maybe he forgot all about the FISA order wiretapping Paul Manafort while he was in direct contact with Trump in his campaign and after the election.
Clapper also “forgot” that the NSA had a data collection program of every single American citizen when he testified before the Senate Intelligence committee and denied its existence.
James Clapper, former DNI chief and now, favorite guest of media outlets looking to attack President Trump, either has a terrible, terrible memory, or he was kept in the dark about a FISA order that occurred on his watch, or he’s just a liar. Can’t think of any other options here, can you?
I ask again, why in the world would the mainstream media continue to take James Clapper seriously? Or, for that matter, book him as a guest?
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.