Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has changed his tune – again, on his feelings toward the ongoing investigation into Russia’s influence on the 2016 election. While Clapper has said multiple times in the past that he has seen no evidence to suggest Trump and his associates colluded with Russia, he declared in Canberra, Australia Wednesday that the whole situation reeks worse than Watergate.
"I think if you compare the two that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we're confronting now," he said.
Clapper went on to criticize the president for continuing to be so openly supportive of Russia, particularly in regards to intelligence sharing. Whether that is borne out of "ignorance or disrespect” - either is “very problematic," Clapper concluded.
The Senate Intelligence Committee grilled intelligence officials Wednesday about reports Trump pressured them to ease the Russia investigation. They each denied those allegations, noting they have never felt pressured by the White House.
Next up is former FBI Director James Comey, who will appear before the panel Thursday in a highly anticipated hearing. On the eve of his appearance, the Senate Intelligence Committee released Comey's full opening statement. In those remarks, Comey will tell the panel that Trump asked him to drop the investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. That may serve as ammunition for Trump critics, but in the same statement Comey also mentions that Trump was not personally under investigation.