James Clapper Fires Back at Trump Calling Him a ‘Lying Machine’: ‘I Made a Mistake, I Didn’t Lie’
Former DNI director James Clapper joined the ladies on The View for a Tuesday chat on President Trump‘s escalating feud with the intelligence community.
The conversation gravitated around Trump’s demand for an investigation into whether the FBI planted an informant in his 2016 campaign. Clapper started things off by recalling Trump’s dismissiveness when he tried to brief the mogul in 2017 about the intelligence community assessment’s about Russian election-meddling.
“He just can’t accept anything that would cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election and certainly the Russian meddling had that impact,” Clapper said. “The point here is the Russians, not spying on the campaign, but what are the Russians doing. And in a sense, unfortunately, what [the FBI] were trying to do is protect our political system and protect the campaign.”
Clapper continued to argue that the FBI’s information-gathering was conducted to thwart potential Russian efforts to influence the Trump campaign and other electoral institutions. He also said the use of informants is a common FBI tactic, and Trump’s accusations and demands for their revelation could make informants less likely to work with the bureau in the future.
Since Clapper is among the thousands of people Trump has attacked on Twitter, Meghan McCain had him react to the tweet where he was called a “lying machine.”
“Clapper lied about (fraudulent) Dossier leaks to CNN” @foxandfriends FoxNews He is a lying machine who now works for Fake News CNN.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2018
Clapper noted that the “lying” accusation comes from the 2013 congressional hearing where he insisted that U.S. intelligence officials don’t collect data on Americans. The claim was called into question after Edward Snowden became an NSA whistleblower, but Clapper claimed he was mixing up surveillance programs in his head at the time.
“I made a mistake. I didn’t lie,” Clapper said, sarcastically dismissing the notion that he would lie before Congress and on live TV.
Clapper continued to fend questions about Snowden, classified leaks, and the Steele dossiers’ relevance to the FBI’s activities.
Watch above, via ABC.
[Image via screengrab]
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