Tags: clapper | trump | cohen | lies | russia

Clapper: Trump's Lies Could Give Russia Leverage

Clapper: Trump's Lies Could Give Russia Leverage
(AP)

By    |   Friday, 14 December 2018 04:40 PM

President Donald Trump is "not being truthful" and that could give Russia a way to exert leverage over him, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned Friday.

"It matters a lot because the Russians are notorious for what they call compromising material,"to the extent that the president is not being truthful publicly, not being truthful to our foreign interlocutors overseas and the Russians know this." Clapper told CNN's "New Day."

"Potentially that gives them a way of exerting leverage over the president."

That, said Clapper, is a "dangerous practice."

"I mean, all presidents have at times not been completely truthful or distorted the truth," said Clapper, while moving on to comment on statements made by Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, "but nothing on the scale of this one."

Trump, he added, "seems to have a separate reality for each day. Each tweet, each statement in an interview which has little or no bearing to what he said in the past...so his reputation for not being truthful has certainly preceded him and preceded Michael Cohen. But I think because of Cohen's close association with the president for over ten years as his personal attorney and fixer, it is pretty devastating."

Meanwhile, Trump's inaugural committee is under investigation, and The New York TImes has reported that prosecutors want to know if foreign donors channeled money into the president's inaugural fund and a pro-Trump super PAC.

But Clapper, who was in office up until Trump was sworn in, said he knew nothing about any such activity.

If it did happen though, he said he would have been concerned about the extent of foreign influence and what entities to gain access or influence that could potentially affect U.S. policy.

"If there was Russian money involved here or Saudi money, that would be, I think, a great concern," said Clapper.

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President Donald Trump is "not being truthful" and that could give Russia a way to exert leverage over him, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper warned Friday.
clapper, trump, cohen, lies, russia
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2018-40-14
Friday, 14 December 2018 04:40 PM
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