Clapper: FBI Would Have Been ‘Derelict’ Not to Have Considered ‘Possibility’ Trump Was a Russian Asset

‘You have the pattern, the pattern which continues of deference to Putin personally and Russia institutionally’

EXCERPT:

CLAPPER: "I think it’s obviously explosive just to read it in print. But it’s not surprising. I think, in fact, I would go so far as to say I think the FBI would have been derelict not to have at least considered the possibility, given the behavior of both candidate Trump and President Trump. Going back to, and you showed this in earlier segment, his comment of the Russians on the 27th of July of 2016, go find e-mails. By the way, as the subsequent indictment showed, Mueller indictment, they did exactly that. They abided by his direction. That very day, after hours, they went out and looked for Clinton’s e-mails. So, of course, you have the pattern, the pattern which continues of deference to Putin personally and Russia institutionally which is kind of mysterious. Never had a good explanation for that. Given the behavior and then the firing of Jim Comey, which the President acknowledges on television he did it for the Russia thing. So given this track record, I think the Bureau would have been derelict not having initiated the investigation. Now a couple other points I’ll make here, I was privy to a couple of investigations of members of Congress. So I can attest to the great discretion that the FBI uses in a sense of investigation like that. And would magnify exponentially if it were involving a presidential candidate or the President himself. The other thing is it might be useful to distinguish the difference between a law enforcement investigation on one hand and a counter-intelligence investigation. The FBI straddles both those worlds. That’s why they're such a crucial organization."

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