Ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday vehemently denied that President Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Donald Trump during his presidential campaign last year.
In an interview with NBC News' "Meet The Press," Clapper asserted "I would know this… something like this, absolutely" had the FBI obtained a court order for a wiretap of Trump Tower, as Trump has alleged.
Pressed by host Chuck Todd whether there was no Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order to bug Trump Tower, Clapper replied: "Not to my knowledge, no."
He also said there was nothing included in a DNI report of data from the National Security Agency, FBI and CIA about alleged improper contacts between Russia and Trump campaign officials.
"We did not include evidence in our report … that had anything, that had any reflection of collusion between members of the Trump campaign…" he said, but added such evidence "could have unfolded or become available in the time since I left the government."
"At the time, we had no evidence of collusion," he declared..
Clapper said what's need now is "to get to the bottom of all of this because it's such a distraction."
Clapper also pushed back at la New York Times report last week that the intelligence community in the last days of the Obama administration lowered the classification of intel in order to spread it throughout the government after the Trump administration moved into the White House.
Clapper said "our actual effort was to protect [the intel], and not to spread it around and certainly not to dumb it down, if I can use that phrase, in order to disseminate it more widely," he insisted.
"We were under a preservation order from both our oversight committees to preserve and protect all of the information related to that report in any event."
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