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Clapper on Trump’s Call With Russian Prez: Putin ‘Knows How to Handle an Asset’

During Donald Trump‘s national security speech today, the president boasted about how Vladimir Putin complimented him this weekend after the CIA gave information to the Russian authorities and helped prevent a terror incident in St. Petersburg. However, that anecdote didn’t make former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper feel a whole lot more reassured when he gave his reaction to CNN.

“I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is,” Clapper said. “He knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president.”

Clapper went on to elaborate by saying that information-sharing with Russia is often a one-way process in which they accept information but rarely provide anything in return. Clapper continued to say that the CIA did the right thing by stopping the attack, but Putin’s call to Trump was mostly a “theatric gesture.”

“You have to remember Putin’s background. He’s a KGB officer, that’s what they do: they recruit assets,” said Clapper. “I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him…with our president.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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