Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper doesn’t believe President Trump’s claim that “nobody has greater respect for intelligence” than he does, stating that the president chooses to receive intelligence “on a selective basis.”
“I think he likes intelligence on a selective basis,” Clapper told CNN’s Don Lemon on Thursday night. “He seems to accept the intelligence on Korea, or on Syria, on China, on other areas, on terrorism, but when it comes to Russia, not so much.”
Clapper referred to President Trump’s tweet in January in which he accused the intelligence community of behaving like “Nazi Germany” by possibly leaking the debunked “urine-gate” report from BuzzFeed. The unverified accusation involved sexual encounters between Trump and Russian women and alleged that Trump staff members worked with the Russian intel to defeat Clinton. Clapper denied that the intelligence community had anything to do with the leaked report.
On Thursday, Clapper suggested that the president should trust the intelligence team that he has installed since being inaugurated.
“I honestly thought that his assessment of the intelligence community would improve once he got rid of the two ‘Nazis,’ the two principal ‘Nazis,’ meaning John Brennan and myself,” said Clapper, referring to the former CIA director.
“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?” Trump tweeted in January.
Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
“Well, I think when the president at his news conference … was complaining about the intelligence community assessment and the fact that it was leaked,” Clapper said, “and of course automatically blamed the intelligence community for that, and referred to Nazis, likened us to Nazis.”
“I think he really had in mind John Brennan and myself, and perhaps as things unfolded, Jim Comey,” Clapper said, referring to former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan and former FBI director James Comey.
Both Brennan and Clapper publicly rebuked Trump for associating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany during a security conference in Colorado in July.
“These types of comments are just disgraceful, never should have happened and the person who said that should be ashamed of themselves,” said Brennan.
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