James Clapper was the Director of National Intelligence. He’s the same James Clapper who lied under oath in 2013 about mass surveillance. Here was an exchange between him and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR):
Wyden: I hope we can do this in just a yes or no answer, because I know Sen. Feinstein wants to move on. Last summer, the NSA director (Keith Alexander) was at a conference and he was asked a question about the NSA surveillance of Americans. He replied, and I quote here, ‘The story that we have millions, or hundreds of millions, of dossiers on people is completely false.’ The reason I’m asking the question is, having served on the committee now for a dozens years, I don’t really know what a dossier is in this context. So, what I wanted to see if you could give me a yes or no answer to the question: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?
Clapper: No, sir.
Wyden: It does not?
Clapper: Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.
Well, that turned out to be a lie, as exposed by Edward Snowden who blew the whistle on the NSA’s widespread surveillance of American citizens.
Clapper later tried to explain his response this way: “I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying no.”
For whatever reason, the media thinks this guy has credibility on the subject. Clapper was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper when he said that government institutions are ‘under assault’ from the Trump administration, made evident particularly when Comey was fired:
JAMES CLAPPER: The developments of the past week have been very bothersome, very disturbing to me, I think in many ways our institutions are under assault, both externally, and that’s the big news here, Russian intereference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.
JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Internally from the president?
TAPPER: Because he is firing the checks and balances?
CLAPPER: The founding fathers, in their genius, created three co-equal branches of government, and a built in system of checks and balances, and I feel as though that is under assault, and is eroding.
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