Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he believes the Mueller report demonstrates “passive collusion” from President Donald Trump if not “active collusion.”
Clapper suggested Thursday that candidate Trump was perhaps “unwittingly” advancing Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, in a CNN interview reported by Fox News.
“If there wasn’t active collusion proven, then I think what we have here is a case of passive collusion where in some cases, unwittingly, to include candidate Trump himself, who retweeted messages that had been planted by the Russians in social media,” the CNN national security analyst said in an interview with Anderson Cooper. “That’s a small, but important, example of how members of the campaign were used and manipulated by the Russians.” (RELATED: Clapper: It’s ‘A Good Thing’ FBI Was Spying On Trump Campaign)
Clapper reiterated his position that the inquiry by the special counsel was entirely necessary because there was “good reason” for the intelligence community “to be concerned about whether or not there was some kind of conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.”
In a separate CNN interview, Clapper called the redacted Mueller report “devastating” for Trump.
“The attorney general clearly is trying to paint as favorable a light on the Mueller report as possible, and when you read it, it’s pretty devastating,” Clapper told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
Although Clapper said he was “disappointed” in Attorney General William Barr, he suggested the Mueller report presented “in very rich detail, the magnitude and pervasiveness of the Russian interference in our election in 2016.”
The former national intelligence chief was accused of lying to Congress in 2013 when he told Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden that the National Security Agency doesn’t collect data on Americans — which is not technically true. (RELATED: Turley: James Clapper Lied To Congress)
Clapper has said he found it “stunning and scary” that Barr suggested the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign.