After being accused by President Donald Trump of implanting a “spy” in his presidential campaign, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in recent interview that most of the claims in the infamous “Steele dossier” have proven to be true.
Clapper gave a lengthy interview to Salon Magazine in which he said that the dossier “has been corroborated” by U.S. law enforcement investigations which occurred subsequent to the dossier’s publication. The Steele document makes many allegations of high level connections and conspiracies between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Clapper made clear in the interview that the most “salacious” claims in the dossier have not been proven to be true. (E.g., the “pee pee tape.”)
However, he said, “more and more” of the dossier’s allegations about Trump ties to Russia have been corroborated and proven.
“Some of what was in the dossier was actually corroborated — but separately — in our intelligence community assessment, from other sources that we were confident in,” Clapper said.
“The salacious parts, no. That’s never been corroborated,” he added. “It would appear to me that as time has gone on more and more of it has been corroborated, but I can’t actually give you a percentage.”
The dossier was created by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. It was undertaken by Steele as part of a contract for research he had with the political information company Fusion GPS.
The full dossier was published by BuzzFeed News in January of 2017, creating media firestorm and leading to more law enforcement investigations. However, Clapper also made clear that Steele’s information was not used as a source for a 2017 “intelligence community assessment” (ICA) which concluded that Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
Clapper has said before that he believes there is clear evidence that Russia meddled in the U.S. election for the clear purpose of hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump.
“Well, some of what was in the dossier … first of all, I need to make an important point here. We did not use the dossier as a source for the intelligence community assessment, that’s point one,” Clapper said.
“The dossier is not classified or an intelligence document,” he continued. “It’s actually a collection of 17 separate memos.”
In a tweet last Thursday, the president erroneously claimed that Clapper “admitted” to placing a spy on his campaign staff.
Clapper has not confirmed that a “spy” was placed on Trump’s campaign team. He did say that an FBI informant was trying to determine if Russians were “infiltrating, trying to gain access.”
“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,” Clapper said Wednesday on television program The View.
Once again Donald Trump has completely twisted the truth to serve his own selfish ends. Any “spying” done was to determine what the Russians were doing, and he should have been happy that the U.S. intelligence community was doing their jobs. And contrary to his claims, his campaign WAS told that Russians were trying to infiltrate it. He did nothing about it at the time but is now blaming the FBI and others when it was really his own fault.
James Clapper is trying to set the record straight and it is hoped that the majority will listen to him rather than the president who seldom tells the truth.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.
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