James Clapper, President Obama’s director of national intelligence, was defending his boss’s legacy when he responded in a CNN interview to President Trump’s claim that the previous administration did nothing about Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
But in the process, he essentially affirmed Obama is responsible for the claims of Trump-Russia collusion that have roiled Washington for two years but were debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation,” Clapper said.
The intelligence community assessment to which he refers addressed Russia meddling in general. And that was the special counsel’s task as well. But it’s clear that Obama officials, including Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan, were promoting the Trump-collusion allegation. And that claim was the focus of Mueller’s probe.
Cooper asked Clapper: “The 2017 assessment that the President says he now agrees with, that was done while you and then NCI Director John Brennan were still in office. So, how can we reconcile the President attacking you, but apparently after a very long time finally, allegedly saying — or saying he allegedly agrees with the product of the intelligence community that you, yourself oversaw?”
Clapper responded: “Yes, well, this is — yes, as we’ve come to know the President, he is not a stalwart for a consistency or coherence. So it’s very hard to explain that. One point I’d like to make, Anderson, that I don’t think has come up very much before, and I’m alluding now to the President’s criticism of President Obama for all that he did or didn’t do before he left office with respect to the Russian meddling. If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation.
“President Obama is responsible for that, and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place. I think it’s an important point when it comes to critiquing President Obama.”
While Mueller concluded the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia, the House Intelligence Committee and investigative reporters have turned up evidence of collusion between the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee to prevent Trump from winning.
A key line of inquiry is the story surrounding the dossier of unverified, anti-Trump “dirt” funded by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The document, the House intel panel found, was used by the Obama Justice Department and FBI to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has called for a special counsel to looking to the origins of the collusion allegations.
Investigative reporters John Solomon and Sara Carter discussed their ground-breaking reporting on the Obama administration’s role in promoting the collusion narrative in an interview with the Fox News Channel’s Mark Levin broadcast Sunday night.
See the interview with Solomon and Carter: