Gabriella Demczuk/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he does not know if there was collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia and that he was not privy to the details of the counterintelligence investigation.
“I don’t know if there was collusion or not,” Clapper said during an interview Friday with MSNBC. “I don’t know if there was evidence of collusion or not, nor should I have.”
On Friday, President Trump tweeted that Clapper said there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
“When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” he tweeted.
Clapper said it would have been former FBI Director James Comey’s discretion to notify him of any evidence of collusion and said it was his practice to always “defer” to the director.
“It’s not surprising or abnormal that I would not have known about the investigation, or more importantly the content of that investigation,” Clapper said.
When he testified Monday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with ousted Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, Clapper also appeared to cast doubt on the president’s interpretation of his comments when he said he “was not aware of the counterintelligence investigation Director Comey first referred to during his testimony before the House intelligence committee on March 20th.”
Trump tweeted at the time:
Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is “no evidence” of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
In March, Clapper told ABC News’ Brian Ross that he had not seen any evidence of potential collusion through the time he left office on Jan. 20.
“There was no evidence whatsoever, at the time, of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” said Clapper.
Later that month, Trump tweeted about the matter.
James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 20, 2017
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