Clapper Defends Spying On Trump Campaign As ‘A Legitimate Activity’
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that the FBI having an informant seek to gather information on the Trump campaign is a “legitimate activity.”
He said it is “disturbing” that President Trump would call for an investigation into the Department of Justice.
Clapper, currently a CNN security analyst, said he is not OK with Trump ordering an investigation into the DOJ, saying, “that’s actually a very disturbing assault on the independence of the Department of Justice.”
“When this president or any president tries to use the Department of Justice as a private investigatory body, that’s not good for the country.”
Clapper said he is concerned about “politicizing what is a legitimate activity, and an important one, on the part of the FBI. They use informants and have strict rules and protocols under this.”
“But the big thing here is, this is not about spying on his campaign. It’s about what the Russians are doing. Were they attempting to infiltrate the campaign? And that was the concern and that in my belief is what the focus of this whole activity was about.”
Cuomo asked why the bureau did not come to the campaign openly, instead of monitoring it in secret.
“This is one of many techniques you can use” to determine whether there being foreign interference in the election, Clapper replied. (RELATED: The FBI Could Have Interviewed George Papadopoulos, But Opted To Spy On Him Instead)
“In fact, we ought to think of it as part of the effort of the FBI to keep the nation safe and secure and protect our voting process,” he said later.
The president tweeted Monday:
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
Clapper said Thursday he believes “it’s a good thing” there was an FBI informant in the Trump campaign. (RELATED: Clapper: It’s ‘A Good Thing’ FBI Was Spying On Trump Campaign)
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