Fox News personality Laura Ingraham blasted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Tuesday after his appearance on ABC’s The View.
“He sounds like a bumbling idiot. Sorry, I’m being cruel here, I guess, but that’s just outrageous,” said Ingraham. “Joy Behar, [a host of The View] look, I trust her more with national intelligence at this point than I would Jim Clapper.”
On The View Tuesday, Clapper discussed an FBI informant used to investigate suspicious ties between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and Russia. Behar asked him if the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign as the president has claimed.
“No, they were not,” responded Clapper. “They were spying, a term I don’t particularly like but, on what the Russians were doing, trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage and influence, which is what they do.”
Clapper called the tactic “fairly benign.” Trump has railed against the story.
“Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president,” Trump tweeted last week. “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a ‘hot’ Fake News story. If true — all time biggest political scandal!”
The claim conflates the use of an informant who spoke to members of the campaign after suspicious contacts with Russia, according to The New York Times, with an implant. Trump has also called the informant a “spy.”
Ingraham on her show discussed issues of the “deep state” with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. The former speaker also did not mince words in going after Clapper.
“I am astounded how bad he looks now. I am astounded how dishonest and incompetent he looks,” said Gingrich. “He was a great public servant for many, many years. But when the director — former director of intelligence tells you he doesn’t like to use the word ‘spying’ … I mean think about it. He was the Director of National Intelligence. What do you think he was in charge of doing? He was in charge of spying.”
Gingrich said that Clapper “thought they could get away with this” because former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would win the election.
Trump responded to Clapper's interview Wednesday.
“Trump should be happy that the FBI was SPYING on his campaign” No, James Clapper, I am not happy. Spying on a campaign would be illegal, and a scandal to boot!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 23, 2018
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