Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who served under President Obama, said Wednesday that not only did Russia attempt to swing the 2016 election in President Donald Trump’s favor but they succeeded in doing it.
“To me, it just exceeds logic and credulity that they didn’t affect the election, and it’s my belief they actually turned it,” he told the PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff on Wednesday.
Clapper also said the Russians “are bent on undermining our fundamental system here” and that the degree to which they were able to spread their influence is “a real danger to this country.”
As for Trump’s assertion that his campaign was spied on by the FBI under the Obama administration?
Clapper called those accusations “distorted.” He said there is a “a big gulf between a spy in the traditional sense — employing spycraft or tradecraft — and an informant who is open about … who he was and what the questions he was asking.”
The intention of investigators was to determine if Russia was “trying to penetrate to campaign, gain access, gain leverage, gain influence,” Clapper said. “I think they were just doing their job and trying to protect our political system.”