President Donald Trump was extremely busy on Twitter this morning. Besides threatening to cancel White House press briefings and giving fired FBI Director James Comey a warning that there might be “tapes” of their conversations that exist, the president also glommed on to remarks made by former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to call the Russia investigations a “witch hunt.”
When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
Well, Clapper showed up today on MSNBC to clarify his past comments about not seeing any evidence of collusion between Russia and Trump while also pointing out his belief that the Russia probe isn’t a witch hunt or fake news as the president keeps saying.
The ex-DNI noted that based on the way criminal investigations are conducted by the FBI, he actually wouldn’t have known about the investigation itself, let alone what they’d discovered.
“It is not surprising or abnormal that I would not have known about the investigation,” he told host Andrea Mitchell. “Even more importantly the content of that investigation. So I don’t know if there was collusion or not. I don’t know if there was evidence of collusion or not nor should I have in this particular context.”
He went on to explain that what he’s stated all along is that when the intelligence community assessed last fall that Russia interfered in the election, there wasn’t any evidence used in that assessment to show collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This led to Mitchell asking him if he felt the Russian investigation was “fake news or a witch hunt.”
“I don’t believe it is,” he responded. “But that is kind of irrelevant. I think what needs to happen here is to clear this cloud. The cloud that is hanging over the administration, the president, the White House.”
Trump has repeatedly pointed to Clapper’s comments when it comes to the question of collusion between Trump associates and Russian operatives. In fact, the president used Clapper’s Congressional testimony last week as a banner image on his Twitter account.
[image via screengrab]
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