Monday on CNN’s “New Day,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper weighed in on whether former President Donald Trump should continue to receive classified intelligence briefings.
Clapper said it is “absolutely the right decision” to withhold the intelligence from Trump, given his “disdain” for the “substance” and “protection” of intelligence. He added that Trump’s debt “would be a real red flag” to a judge.
“What’s your fear if Donald Trump were to get intelligence briefings still?” host Alisyn Camerota asked.
“Well, I think he’s demonstrated a disdain for both the substance of intelligence as well as its protection,” Clapper replied. “He’s, you know, he’s used it on occasion, weaponized it against political opponents. He’s exposed it, as you indicated, in both the Oval Office with the Russians. Another example I can think of is use of overhead reconnaissance satellite imagery to taunt the Iranians about a mishap they had in their space or rocket program. … And plus there is potential financial entanglements. There is debt, which to a normal person would be a real red flag for an adjudicator — somebody deciding on whether someone should have access to classified information. So for all those reasons, I think this is absolutely the right decision.”
He later added, “[S]ome of the information that is derived and presented in intelligence briefings is collected by people who are risking their lives to acquire it. So, it is a heavy responsibility to protect classified information, and the president has shown by his behavior — or the former president– that he is not very mindful of that.”
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