Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | clapper | trump | russia | collusion

Clapper on Trump-Russia Probe: Would No Longer Make 'No Collusion' Comments

("New Day"/Twitter)

By    |   Friday, 17 November 2017 08:47 AM

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this year said there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, but on Friday, he said he would not say the same thing knowing what he knows now.

"The only thing we knew about before the assessment on the sixth of January was the multiple meetings going on," Clapper, who served under former President Barack Obama, told CNN's "New Day" program. 

"Certainly for those of us in the national security circle, the metaphor I used was our dashboard warning lights were clearly flashing."

In the 10 months since Trump's inauguration, Clapper added, "more and more has come out. It is getting more and more compelling as time goes on."

Clapper's comments came after The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that investigators for Russia special counsel Robert Mueller in October subpoenaed Trump campaign officials, seeking Moscow-related documents from more than a dozen top officials.

Also on Thursday, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee are pressing Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser, to provide additional documents for its Russia investigation.

In a letter Thursday to Kushner's lawyer, Abbe Lowell, the pair said Kushner has not turned over documents first requested on Oct. 18, nor has he agreed to a transcribed interview. They said the documents include some related to his security clearance and his communications with former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Clapper, when asked if Kushner's actions look like either deception or incompetence, said there seems to be a "history or track record of less-than-stellar records keeping and lack of attention to administrative detail" when filling out a background investigation form concerning foreign contacts.

"I do think as this whole thing goes on, it's going to be a challenge for the White House or the people involved with the campaign in providing the same records consistently, [and] to the multiple investigations going on either with the special counsel or in Congress," said Clapper.

Meanwhile, Clapper said he feels Trump refuses to acknowledge the threat posed by Russia, "or even acknowledge, at least consistently, their profound interference in our election and our basic democratic process."

Clapper also said he has not seen evidence that Trump has any more influence over Russia, from a policy standpoint, than any other president has had.

"The Russians are not our friends, and they are not going to, unless it's in their interest, come to some kind of grand agreement," said Clapper. "They're just not."

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper earlier this year said there was no evidence of collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, but on Friday, he said he would not say the same thing knowing what he knows now.
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2017-47-17
Friday, 17 November 2017 08:47 AM
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