Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | james clapper | russians | meddling | election | trump

Clapper: 'Russians Have Succeeded Beyond Their Wildest Expectations'

Image: Clapper: 'Russians Have Succeeded Beyond Their Wildest Expectations'
(Ron Sachs/AP Images)

By    |   Monday, 30 October 2017 09:13 AM

No matter how much President Donald Trump rants about the "Russia hoax," Moscow's meddling into the U.S. elections was not only real, but "succeeded beyond their wildest expectations," former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Politico in an interview published on Monday.

With special prosecutor Robert Mueller reportedly securing the first indictment in the investigation, Clapper said the allegations are "worse than Watergate, because the investigation involves a foreign adversary actively and aggressively and directly engaging in our political processes… to undermine our system."

Clapper, who has been one of Trump's foremost critics, said the probe constitutes a "cloud not only over the president, but the office of the presidency, the administration, the government and the country" until it is resolved.

The former director of National Intelligence has been dismayed that Trump denies the U.S. intelligence community finding that Russia had intervened explicitly on Trump's behalf, saying the Russians have "accelerated, amplified the polarization and the divisiveness in this country and they've undermined our democratic system.

"They wanted to create doubt in the minds of the public about our government and about our system, and they succeeded to a fare-thee-well," adding that "they've been emboldened and they will continue to do this."

Clapper said "it's a very painful thing for me to be seen as a critic of this president, but I have those concerns" and felt the need to voice them when Trump refused to accept what is happening.

Following Trump's response to the violent clashes at a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August, Clapper told CNN that he questions his fitness to be president, as "I don't know when I've listened and watched something like this from a president that I found more disturbing."

Clapper denounced Trump's "behavior and divisiveness and complete intellectual, moral and ethical void."

However, despite his misgivings about Trump, he told Politico that the president is likely to serve out his term.

"I think it would take a lot to remove him from office," he said. "The 25th Amendment that people bring up is a very, very high bar for removal, and appropriately so. And if that were to happen… all that would serve to do is heighten the polarization and the divisiveness, because the base will never accept that, and that would just feed the conspiracy theories."

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No matter how much President Donald Trump rants about the "Russia hoax," Moscow's meddling into the U.S. elections was not only real, but "succeeded beyond their wildest expectations," former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Politico...
james clapper, russians, meddling, election, trump
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2017-13-30
Monday, 30 October 2017 09:13 AM
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