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Tags: james clapper | james comey | book | observations | trump

Clapper: Comey's Memoir a 'Truthful Portrayal' of His Observations

(CNN/"New Day")

By    |   Friday, 13 April 2018 10:24 AM

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Friday he considers ex-FBI Director James Comey's new memoir be a "truthful portrayal" of his observations, including in a passage where he, Comey, and then-President Barack Obama discussed a salacious dossier about incoming President Donald Trump.

"Well, I think above all is a truthful portrayal of how, you know, Jim's observations, his feelings and what occurred," Clapper, now a CNN national security analyst, told "New Day" co-host Alisyn Camerota.

"People can take issues with decisions Jim made. But knowing Jim as I do, whatever he did, he did it for what he felt were the best reasons and were in the best interest of the country."

Clapper's own memoirs, in which he speaks of some of the same events Comey describes in his memoir, "A Higher Loyalty" will be released in May, and Clapper told Camerota he's expecting he will face the same attacks Comey is receiving.

He also backed up Comey's recollections of a meeting in which he, Comey and Obama discussed who would speak with incoming President Donald Trump a salacious dossier concerning allegations of misadventures in Russia.

Comey said that that when he met with Clapper and Obama, the president had raised his eyebrows in a "Groucho Marx" way when they were discussing who would speak with Trump about the dossier.

Clapper said that he'd met with Obama earlier on the same topic, and in that meeting, the president rolled his eyes while discussing the dossier.

"As we were walking, Susan Rice, the national security adviser, said, 'Hey could you give President Obama a little run through on the dossier?'" Clapper said about the earlier meeting.

"I kind of gulped. I wasn't prepared" said Clapper. 

"When I say our, Jim Comey, Mike Rogers who was then and still is the director of NSA. That meeting came later," said Clapper. "In my meeting, the president didn't say anything. He just kind of rolled his eyes. You know, body language, facial expressions conveyed volumes.

"So is his reaction to my brief preliminary, you know, coming attractions was very consistent with what Jim described in our subsequent meeting."

Clapper said he does not get as specific about Trump's appearance in his book as Comey did in his, when he described "bright white half-moons" under Trump's eyes from wearing tanning goggles, and his blonde hair which "looked to be all his."

"I've never disagreed with any of the description. But I didn't include that kind of detail," said Clapper.

However, he said that doesn't mean he thinks Comey generated salacious details for his own book.

"He chose to include some pretty graphic details about his impressions of President Trump. I don't fault him for it. I just chose not to include details like that."

Clapper said he last met with Comey about three or four weeks ago when they and ex-CIA Director John Brennan got together for dinner with their wives.

"We referred to it as the 'reunion of the Nazs' he said. "That's the way President-Elect Trump characterized us after that Jan. 6 meeting in his news conference on the 11th of January, which is what of course occasioned my call to him, which I did more to defend the intelligence community."

Clapper said he doesn't know a lot about Comey's book yet, except for hearing excerpts from television, but it will evoke controversy, "and you expect there will be criticisms of what I said too when my book comes out."

The former DNI said his own book covers a longer time span over 50 years in the intelligence community.

"I discuss my take on Edward Snowden and the aftermath of what he did and Benghazi," said Clapper. "I do speak to the election and the result and the aftermath, which, to be honest, is kind of what motivated me to write the book. I hadn't planned to do that until all of that happened."

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Friday he considers ex-FBI Director James Comey's new memoir be a "truthful portrayal" of his observations.
james clapper, james comey, book, observations, trump
Friday, 13 April 2018 10:24 AM
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