Chances are ‘about zero’ Trump is correct in spat with intel agencies: Ex-Director of National Intelligence
Composite image of Chris Cuomo and James Clapper (screengrabs)

The former Director of Intelligence said there the odds were "about zero" that President Donald Trump was correct in his latest claims about United States intelligence agencies.


James Clapper joined Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time" on Thursday. Clapper was a Lieutenant General who appointed Director of the Defense Intelligence by President George H.W. Bush, appointed as Under Secretary of Defense Intelligence by President George W. Bush and appointed as Director of National Intelligence by President Barack Obama.

"In a mountain of mendacity, the president really out-did himself today," Cuomo reported. "When the president came out of it, I want you to hear how he explained away the public contradictions that we heard from them earlier this week."

Cuomo played a clip of Trump speaking in the Oval Office.

"They said they were totally misquoted and it was taken out of context and what I'd do is I'd suggest that you call them," Trump said. "They said it was fake news."

"Fake news? That's what the president claims they said?" he asked.

"Their testimonies were televised. Their written assessments were public. I mean, come on," Cuomo explained. "That was only hours after saying that time would prove him right and then wrong and then, suddenly, they're all in agreement."

Cuomo asked Clapper for a "percent chance" that intelligence chiefs would say their sworn testimony was "fake news."

"About zero," Clapper answered.

"It's not new for us to have to expose the president of the United States for lying -- I don't think he's ever told a bigger whopper than this one because it's so obviously untrue and it compromises these two people who need to have their integrity intact because of the nature of their work," Cuomo noted.

Clapper worried about the public losing trust in intelligence agencies, the effect on moral among staff, the risk of senior leaving public service to avoid the "aggravation" of working for Trump, and what our allies think of the chaos.

"So on a number of levels this is very disturbing and of course most people wait years to do revisionist history, President Trump, you know, does it the next day and this is a manifestation of him living in a no-fact zone reality-bubble all to himself," he concluded.

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