James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, responded on ABC’s “The View” Tuesday to President Trump calling him a “lying machine” in a tweet last month.
“What that stems from is an exchange I had with Sen. Wyden five years ago in March of 2013 about a surveillance program,” Clapper explained, “and he was asking me about one, and I was thinking about another. So I made a mistake. I didn't lie."
Co-host Meghan McCain pressed Clapper on the issue, arguing that technically Clapper did tell a lie about the NSA program.
"What you're referencing though,” she said, “when you're talking about James Snowden (sic) blowing the whistle on the NSA illegally spying. And in 2013 when you were asked about it, you said no, so that is a lie."
"No, it isn't a lie,” Clapper responded, “I'm sorry. It isn't a lie. I was thinking about something else, another program. I can get into the technical details. He was asking about the metadata program and the euphemistic way he asked about it, I didn't break the code."
Clapper went on to emphasize that he had testified repeatedly to Congress for over 20 years, sarcastically joking about how unlikely it was that he would intentionally lie about the program.
“Gee, just for a change of pace, I think I'll lie on this one question,” he said to laughs and applause from the audience, “and by the way, do it on live television in front of one of my oversight committee."
Trump tweeted last month that Clapper was a “lying machine” who works for “Fake News CNN.”
“Clapper lied about (fraudulent) Dossier leaks to CNN” @foxandfriends FoxNews He is a lying machine who now works for Fake News CNN.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2018
Clapper has been an analyst for CNN since August 2017.