Neither of the two Obama-era intelligence chiefs turned Trump resisters — John Brennan nor James Clapper — is anyone’s idea of a luminary. Of the two, though, Clapper seems the more intelligent, the more clever, and thus the more dangerous.
Sean Davis’ report, cited by Scott earlier today, that Clapper leaked the anti-Trump dossier to CNN and then lied about it demonstrates the point. Clapper testified before the House Intelligence Committee that he did not discuss the anti-Trump dossier compiled by Christopher Steele with journalists. His testimony to the Committee included this exchange:
MR. ROONEY: Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?
MR. CLAPPER: No.
But Clapper changed his story after he was confronted specifically about his communications with Jake Tapper of CNN. According to the Committee’s report, “Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic.” The report continues, “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information.’”
Thus, Clapper is, indeed, a leaker and a liar.
He is also a consummate slimy operative. Davis explains why.
James Comey [note: also a leaker and a liar] wrote in one of four memos that he leaked that the briefing of Trump on salacious and unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.”
But, of course, the briefing itself became that news hook. Moreover, according to Comey, it was Clapper who told him to brief Trump on the dossier.
Here, then, is how the caper went down (hat tip, John Sexton):
News outlets including CNN have the dossier and are looking for an excuse to run it (late 2016).
Clapper tells Comey to brief Trump on the dossier, supposedly to protect him from CNN and/or other outlets running the dossier (very early 2017).
Comey briefs Trump on just the salacious details (Jan. 6, 2017).
Shortly after the briefing he had ordered supposedly to protect the president from CNN and/or other outlets, Clapper leaks back to CNN that Trump and Obama have been briefed on the dossier.
CNN uses this as the news hook and publishes a story on the dossier (Jan. 10).
Buzzfeed dumps the entire dossier (Jan. 10).
Oh, and one more thing: CNN hired Clapper as an analyst in August 2017.
Jack Goldsmith wasn’t exaggerating when he wrote, “there is significant evidence that the deep state has used secretly collected information opportunistically and illegally to sabotage the president. . . .