Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper declared today that President Trump’s demand that the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his claims that the FBI infiltrated his 2016 presidential campaign is “very disturbing” and “not good for the country,”
“I think that’s actually a very disturbing assault on the independence of the Department of Justice,” Clapper told Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day.”
“And I think when the president — this president or any president — tries to use the Department of Justice as a kind of private investigatory body,” adds Clapper, “that’s not good for the country.”
Clapper says that Trump is turning the truth about what the FBI did on its head for his own political purposes.
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
Last night, the Justice Department responded by asking the inspector general to investigate whether or not the FBI conducted “inappropriate” surveillance of the Trump campaign.
Trump, says Clapper, “is politicizing what is a legal activity and an important one on the part of the FBI.”
“This is not about spying on his campaign,” adds Clapper. “It’s what the Russians were doing. Were they attempting to infiltrate the campaign? That was the concern.”
Cuomo asked Clapper why the FBI did not just go directly to the Trump campaign if they had questions about what the Russians were doing?
“The important thing here,” replies Clapper, “is a foreign nation – an adversary – trying to influence a political campaign. and that’s not good for the country.”
What Trump is obviously doing is trying to deflect attention from his own actions and away from the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller with his latest unfounded, fact-free charges against the FBI and the “deep state.”
We now know, and it has been factually documented, that Russia did do its best to interfere in the election and did so at least in part to help Trump’s campaign and hurt the campaign of his opponent, Secretary Hillary Clinton.
Once again, Trump is showing he has no boundaries, doesn’t respect the tradition of an independent FBI and will use any trick, claim or objection to hide his own guilt.
Clapper, the author of a new book, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From A Life In Intelligence,” provides a sensible, calm and well-informed view about what Trump is doing, which is the opposite of what we can expect to hear from the president and his Republican backers.