James Clapper has said Russian president Vladimir Putin was handling President Donald Trump like an “asset,” and he explained Tuesday what he meant by his remark.
The former director of national intelligence appeared Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where analyst John Heilemann asked Clapper whether he believed Putin was treating Trump like an asset — or whether whether he believed the U.S. president was, in fact, a Russian asset.
“No, I’m not suggesting that at all,” Clapper said. “This was a commentary on Putin’s approach. He is a trained and deeply experienced KGB officer and I think his instincts are basically prompted by that experience, so he approaches President Trump or any other interlocutor he deals with as a potential intelligence asset — one to try to co-opt, influence and even recruit. So it’s a comment about him, not the president.”
Clapper told CNN in December that Putin “knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president.”
“You have to remember Putin’s background,” Clapper told CNN. “He’s a KGB officer. That’s what they do. They recruit assets.”
Trump ‘does have a tendency to lash out’: Texas Republican tells president to ‘temper’ his rabid impulses
Republicans are concerned about President Donald Trump's rabid impulses and are urging self-discipline and constraint, two words that aren't typically associated with the president.
In a Politico report, Republican officials explained that they agree with the attorney general that Trump should calm down and let him handle things.
“The president does have a tendency to lash out, and I think in this case he would be well advised to try to temper that,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). “Because I think Bill Barr is his best path on seeing that justice is done in terms of all of these various investigations, including the counterintelligence investigation and the lead-up to the Mueller report.”
‘If you kiss my butt, I will do something for you’: MSNBC commentator slams Trump’s ‘pay-to-play’ pardons
On MSNBC Wednesday, analyst Jason Johnson broke down the self-serving logic of President Donald Trump's pardons.
"These people wrote him from prison, these people had friends asking him questions. Many of these people were connected to the president financially," said Johnson. "And it's the general message that he has, which is that this is a pay-to-play administration. If you kiss my butt, if you give me money, if you make me feel good about myself, if you praise me, if you come up for ridiculous names for yourself 15 minutes after you come out of prison, the I will do something for you."
Trump threatens federal government takeover of San Francisco: ‘It’s worse than a slum’
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the federal government may "step in" to take control of San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The president made the remarks at a White House event in Bakersfield, California. During the event, Trump responded to someone who said he wanted to "get rid" of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
"Get rid of Pelosi! That's okay with me!" Trump exclaimed. "Lot of people agree. Look what's happened to San Francisco. So sad what's happened, when you see a slum, where it's a slum. It's worse than a slum. There's no slum like that."
"It's something that we're going to do something about," he added. "Because if they don't fix it up, clean it up, take care of the homeless, do what they have to do but clean up their city, the federal government is going to have to step in. And we're going to do it in Los Angeles and San Francisco."