Donald Trump downplaying Russian election meddling is threat to national security, says James Clapper

The former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that US President Donald Trump’s downplaying of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US election “poses a peril to this country.”

Mr Clapper was speaking alongside former CIA Director John Brennan on CNN regarding Mr Trump’s tepid comments on his current Asia tour after conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The threat posed by Russia, as John just said, is manifest and obvious. To try to paint it in any other way is, I think, astounding, and in fact, poses a peril to this country,” noted Mr Clapper.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017

He also noted that his attempt at better relations with Mr Putin was more beneficial than that of former President Barack Obama’s, adding they had “zero chemistry.”


Mr Clapper called Mr Trump’s initial comments “unconscionable” and is not the only US official to be wary of the President’s comments.

Senator John McCain was concerned about Mr Trump’s naivete in “taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community.”

The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff commented: “You know who else is insulted by it, Mr President? The American people. You believe a foreign adversary over your own intelligence agencies.”

Mr Trump is currently on a 12-day Asia tour and meeting with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte today.

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