In a summary of findings from the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Republicans share that James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, gave “inconsistent testimony” about interactions he had with the media while in office.
“Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN national security analyst, provided inconsistent testimony to the Committee about his contacts with the media, including CNN,” states one assessment in the seven-page document regarding the committee’s findings from the Russia probe, which has been formally voted to an end.
Republicans authored a 150-page report that, before being shared with the public, will undergo an intelligence committee review.
In a short preview of that report released last week, Committee Republicans noted that there were “problematic contacts between senior Intelligence Community officials and the media.”
Clapper was involved in an important briefing with three other top intelligence community officials, where they informed President Trump on the alleged efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump was notified by James Comey, then FBI Director and an attendee of the briefing, of the infamous dossier complied by a British spy, alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Hours after the meeting between Trump and intelligence officials on Jan. 10, 2017, Buzzfeed News released the full dossier. The Daily Caller reports that “Trump reportedly believes that the Comey briefing was a setup aimed at providing justification to release the dossier.”
While it remains unclear what information Clapper discussed with the media at the time, he says that prior to his departure from office on Jan. 20, 2017, he had no contact with the media.
“I didn’t have any contact with media until after I left the government on the 20th of January, so I don’t quite understand, at least what I’ve read, that somehow I leaked about the dossier,” said Clapper during an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon.
Lemon asks Clapper if he leaked anything about the dossier to the media.
“No, not — I mean, I talked about it after I left the government, but not during that period, and certainly not between the 6th of January and the 10th when the president-elect himself talked about it,” responded Clapper. “So I don’t understand this, you know, I leaked it to CNN.”