Published: Mon, May 15, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Ex-intel chief: founders' system under assault

Ex-intel chief: founders' system under assault

James Clapper the former Director of National Intelligence spent the days after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey warning the nation of the dangers associated with the actions of President Donald Trump and is administration.

"I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally-and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system".

Citing Russian influence in the USA election, Clapper told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that outside forces were responsible for weakening the US government.

Clapper said America's founding fathers had created three co-equal branches of government with checks and balances, but with Trump as president, that was now "eroding".

In the Thursday interview, Trump said he supported an investigation into Russia's meddling of the election, saying, "If Russia or anyone else is trying to interfere with our elections, I think it's a terrible thing and I want to get to the bottom of it, and I want to make sure it will never, ever happen".

Clapper called on the other branches of the federal government to step up in their roles as a check on the executive.

President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday because Comey was a "showboat", according to the president.

Clapper told NBC in March that he didn't know of any evidence that demonstrated collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

In the case of the Trump-Russia investigation, Clapper didn't learn about its existence until Comey publicly confirmed it during Congressional testimony the now ex-FBI director gave in March.

Clapper told CNN that he and Comey spoke about the one-on-one dinner in which Trump reportedly demanded Comey's loyalty. "I had no evidence available to me that there was collusion, but that's not necessarily exculpatory since I did not know the state of the investigation or the content-what had been turned up with it", Clapper said.

Clapper insisted on ABC that the FBI would not have necessarily told him about their investigation. 'So I can't refute it and I can't confirm it'.

In short, the FBI's investigation could still produce evidence of collusion.

He noted the intelligence community's joint assessment declaring Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 election did not contain any reporting about political collusion.

Wright said President Trump appears to blame White House press secretary Sean Spicer for much of the fallout.

He said that Comey's sudden dismissal was "very disturbing" to bureau employees.

"We understand it's hard, but I think patriotism and the needs of this country demand it", Schumer said.

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