Following Thursday's release of George Stephanopoulos' exclusive interview with President Donald Trump, former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, appeared on Anderson Cooper 360 to discuss the president's comments. Specifically, Clapper and Cooper focused on Trump saying that he would be willing to listen to a foreign country's opposition research, should it be brought to his attention.
"It certainly is interesting. I've run out of adjectives to describe a reaction to this. Incredible, amazing, stunning, and disturbing that the president would advocate for this use of accepting information provided by a foreign country, notably a foreign advisor," Clapper told Cooper. "And, in doing so, completely overlooking the fact that this could, will be, probably would be, disinformation. In other words, completely phony. And to endorse that, and in doing so endorse, undercut the FBI, and its director, it's just incredible. I can't get over the duplicity of it."
Wait a second. We have a double standard here. It's okay for the FBI to run with the Steele dossier, despite it being compiled by a former British spy, someone who could arguably be a "foreign influencer," but it's not okay for a campaign to even think about hearing out the information another country has? If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, then what is?
"Here's all this criticism about the infamous dossier and you can't use it because it's not valid. You can't accept it. That's, and in this case, okay. And we're looking in the future here. We're not talking about the past," Clapper added.
The problem conservatives have with the dossier is that the FBI didn't vet what was in the dossier. They accepted it as fact. Opposition research is the norm. It happens in every campaign during every election. Did Hillary Clinton have a right to do oppo research on Trump? Absolutely. The government, however, has an obligation to independently verify what was in the document, especially when we're talking about obtaining FISA warrants based on said information. "Journalists" at BuzzFeed and The Washington Post did a disservice to the American people by, once again, not independently verifying what Fusion GPS gathered. They also accepted the document as fact because it was damning "evidence" against Trump. Don't be fooled. There were political motives in not vetting Steele's information.
According to Cooper, this is Trump's "clarion call" for information from foreign countries and Russia in particular.
"They're [Russia] going to repeat what they did in 2016. They're going to repeat it in 2020," Clapper said. "And now, what President Trump has done, is encourage them to do so. Again, it's just, it's just stunning."
"Incredible, amazing, stunning and disturbing."— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) June 13, 2019
That's how former spy chief James Clapper describes his reaction to Pres Trump saying he'd accept dirt on political rivals from foreign governments, adding he's "run out of adjectives" to describe his shock https://t.co/xpFKKfg2AU pic.twitter.com/Qq8Yp8sS8d