Clapper witnessed 'parallelism' between Trump campaign, Russia

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested there was a "parallelism" between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, though he said he hadn't seen evidence of collusion.

Posted: May 25, 2018 5:09 AM
Updated: May 25, 2018 5:13 AM

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggested there was a "parallelism" between the Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, though he said he has not seen evidence of collusion between the two.

"The parallelism between what the Trump campaign was doing and saying and what the Russians were doing and saying was remarkably parallel, particularly when it came to attacks on Hillary Clinton, all her alleged physical and mental maladies, and there was almost an echo chamber between the two," Clapper told CNN's Dana Bash.

Trump has frequently denied that there was collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Clapper's comments came during a discussion about his book "Facts and Fears" at George Washington University.

Clapper stressed that he's "not saying there was collusion" between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin, but added, "just the appearance of it."

"I make this point clear in the book that you know that we had no smoking gun evidence of collusion, still don't as far as I know," the former intelligence chief said.

Clapper oversaw the US intelligence community for over six years, during which the intelligence community concluded in a declassified report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump in the election.

Reiterating what he writes in his book, Clapper said Wednesday that he thinks that the Russians "did have a profound effect on the election" given how close the electoral college results were and the "massive" effort Russia mounted to sow discourse among Americans using social media.

"To me, it stretches logic and credulity to think that there was no impact," Clapper said.

Clapper says Trump eroding American norms

While special counsel Robert Mueller looks into the question of collusion, President Trump has derided the probe as a "witch hunt" and raised an unsubstantiated claim that the FBI planted a "spy" in his campaign in response to reports that a confidential government source spoke with two of his campaign aides during the campaign.

During an appearance Tuesday on ABC's "The View," Clapper was asked if the FBI was spying on Trump's campaign.

"No, they were not," Clapper said. "They were spying on -- a term I don't particularly like -- but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence which is what they do."

Trump, in turn, has tweeted that Clapper said the President "'should be happy that the FBI was SPYING on his campaign.'"

Trump's comments, however, are a "distortion of what I actually said," Clapper told Bash, reiterating that the purpose of the informant was to determine "what the Russians were doing to infiltrate to gain access and potentially to exert leverage."

He called the use of this informant a "fairly benign form of information gathering, which doesn't involve any clandestine tradecraft, so it hardly qualifies as a spy."

In response to Trump's tweets about him, Clapper said he was "bothered" by Trump targeting private citizens after they share an opinion that Trump dislikes.

"That is kind of in my mind, and maybe I'm a traditionalist, violates a norm and standard of behavior that's long been abided by previous presidents and to me that's bothersome and I think another sign of some erosion of our institutions and our norms and standards," Clapper said.

Terre Haute
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 94°
Robinson
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 92°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
85° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 73°
Feels Like: 89°
Rockville
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 88°
Casey
Few Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 96°
Brazil
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 94°
Marshall
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 94°
Hot, humid, and stormy.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 150554

Reported Deaths: 7309
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook934964664
Lake10104427
DuPage9454480
Kane7949280
Will7061322
Winnebago3131101
McHenry2179100
St. Clair2089143
Kankakee133565
Unassigned1170210
Rock Island109430
Madison107770
Kendall101122
Champaign99217
Boone62321
DeKalb59520
Peoria58329
Sangamon47333
Jackson34319
McLean29214
Randolph2917
Stephenson2806
Ogle2794
Clinton24417
Macon24122
LaSalle23717
Whiteside19915
Union19519
Grundy1855
Coles18417
Iroquois1685
Tazewell1588
Knox1490
Warren1470
Monroe14113
Adams1391
Cass1367
Williamson1344
Morgan1323
Jefferson11117
Lee1042
McDonough10415
Henry1031
Vermilion822
Pulaski790
Marion730
Macoupin613
Montgomery591
Perry591
Douglas540
Livingston532
Jo Daviess491
Christian474
Jasper477
Ford411
Woodford392
Jersey371
Franklin360
Bureau312
Menard260
Mercer250
Washington250
Cumberland240
Fayette243
Mason230
Wabash230
Alexander220
Carroll212
Johnson210
Piatt200
Effingham191
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Clark180
Crawford180
Logan180
Bond171
De Witt160
Edgar160
Fulton160
Massac150
Wayne151
Schuyler130
Marshall120
Brown100
Saline100
White90
Greene80
Henderson80
Lawrence80
Richland70
Hamilton60
Stark60
Pike50
Gallatin40
Clay20
Edwards20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Out of IL10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 49063

Reported Deaths: 2732
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11760689
Lake5276246
Elkhart340255
Allen2835133
St. Joseph200169
Cass16429
Hamilton1608101
Hendricks1425100
Johnson1296118
Porter76738
Tippecanoe7359
Clark66844
Madison66764
Bartholomew59145
Vanderburgh5876
LaPorte58326
Howard58058
Kosciusko5624
Marshall5016
Noble48528
LaGrange4779
Jackson4733
Boone45443
Delaware45252
Hancock45236
Shelby43125
Floyd38444
Morgan32731
Monroe30928
Montgomery29720
Grant29626
Clinton2902
Dubois2886
Henry28216
White26610
Decatur25432
Lawrence24825
Dearborn23823
Vigo2388
Warrick22729
Harrison21622
Greene19032
Miami1862
Jennings17712
Putnam1708
DeKalb1634
Scott1628
Daviess14817
Wayne1436
Orange13623
Perry1359
Steuben1302
Franklin1268
Ripley1247
Jasper1232
Wabash1142
Carroll1102
Fayette1037
Newton9910
Gibson982
Whitley975
Starke943
Randolph804
Huntington782
Jefferson762
Wells751
Fulton721
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Owen501
Adams491
Benton480
Posey450
Sullivan451
Spencer441
Brown421
Blackford392
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton311
Switzerland280
Parke240
Martin220
Ohio180
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110
Unassigned0193