James Clapper: Putin has been trapped in an 'ivory-tower bubble' for years — and 'now has his own reality'
Annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin in Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual "Direct Line with Vladimir Putin" live call-in show. - -/Kremlin/dpa

On CNN Wednesday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper weighed in on speculation by experts over whether Vladimir Putin is acting rationally and listening to sound advice as he moves to invade Ukraine.

"I wonder if, as you have watched Putin here in recent days, if you think he's stable," asked anchor Brianna Keilar. "I asked you that because the Wall Street Journal is quoting a close aide to French President Emmanuel Macron who said Macron found Putin, quote, 'Tended to talk in circles, rewriting history,' and more rigid and isolated and had basically gone into an ideological and security-minded rift. Do you think he's stable?"

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"I'm not qualified to answer that question," admitted Clapper. But, he added, "As a layman, I wonder about someone who has been in an ivory tower bubble for as long as he has for 20 years, and a literal bubble for the last two years during the pandemic. As we saw with his behavior towards his external intelligence service head, he's not one who is interested in hearing bad news. So he doesn't have anybody, best I can tell, pushing back. So his — he now has his own reality, which I think is dangerous, both for Russia and, for that matter, the rest of the world."

Watch below:

James Clapper speculates on Putin's stability www.youtube.com