Clapper says Comey firing is a 'victory' for Russian Federation

NY [U.S.], May 14: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a stern warning about the state of the U.S. Government stating that the U.S. institutions are "under assault' after President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last week".

When asked if he meant if those institutions were "under assault" internally by the president himself, Clapper said "exactly" and added that he believed Trump was undermining the checks and balances inherent to the US political system.

When CNN's Jake Tapper asked, "Internally, from the president?"

"The current atmospherics. And what that's doing to our system of three co-equal branches of government- checks and balances, et cetera", added Clapper. "I think in many ways our institutions are under assault", Mr Clapper told CNN's Face the Nation on Sunday. At a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing earlier this month, Clapper clarified that statement, saying he was also unaware of the FBI's investigation into the matter until Comey made it public in March.

Clapper said he "would find that profoundly out of character for what" he knows of Comey "and his integrity" that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief would make such a pledge.

"I spoke briefly with Director Comey about the dinner", Clapper said.

The former US national intelligence director says the global "ransomware" attack could grow much larger when people return to work. Clapper didn't hesitate: "Exactly".

President Trump has hinted that conversations between him and former FBI Director James Comey were recorded.

While serving as DNI chief from 2010 to 2017, Clapper said he left it up to the FBI director 'whether, when and what to tell me about any counter-intelligence investigations they may have under way'.

The bleak assessment came days after Mr Trump claimed on Twitter that Mr Clapper had determined "there is no collusion" with reference to his presidential campaign and Russian Federation, a characterisation that Mr Clapper has refuted.

He noted the intelligence community's joint assessment declaring Russian Federation had interfered in the 2016 election did not contain any reporting about political collusion. I did not know about the investigation, ' Clapper said again on Sunday. In a later interview on ABC news, Mr Clapper added that "the Russians have to consider this [Comey's sacking] as another victory on the scoreboard for them". "And I don't know of any evidence to it so I can't refute it and I can't confirm it".

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