On Friday the House Intelligence Committee released their 253-page newly declassified report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. buried within that report is a shocking revelation that former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper leaked classified information to CNN’s Jake Tapper and lied about it.
In one of the findings within the 253-page report, the House intelligence committee wrote that Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper,
The findings within the 253-page report, it details that Clapper spoke with CNN’s Jake Tapper about the dossier. which contradicts Clapper’s statement in an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon in March, when he confidently said he did not interact with any media about the dossier prior to leaving his position with the Obama administration.
Not only that, Clapper also lied to Congress about the leak and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.
According to the report:
“Clapper flatly denied ‘discussing[ing] the dossier [compiled by Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists,’” the committee found.
James Clapper leaked classified information to CNN’s Jake Tapper and lied about it
According to a transcript of the proceedings, Clapper was asked directly if he had ever discussed the Steele dossier with any journalists, he replied that he hadn’t:
MR. ROONEY: Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?
MR. CLAPPER: No.
Clapper later changed his story after he was asked specifically about his contact with CNN’sJake Tapper:
“Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic,” the report continued. “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the ICA,” or intelligence community assessment.
Trump was briefed by U.S. intelligence chiefs on January 6, CNN then published their story on the briefing, based on “anonymous leaks” from “two national security officials,” on January 10. BuzzFeed then published the whole dossier, funded by the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, just minutes after CNN’s story was published.
Former FBI director James Comey wrote in his memo that he leaked that the briefing on the unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN already had them and were looking for a news hook.”
The congressional report on Russian interference says that it was this briefing of Trump that multiple media organizations used as an excuse to publish the unverified dossier.
According to the congressional report on Russian interference, it was that briefing of Trump that numerous mainstream media outlets used as an excuse to go ahead and publish the dossier.
“The Committee assesses that leaks to CNN about the dossier were especially significant, since CNN’s report ‘ that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump’ was the proximate cause of BuzzFeed News’ decision to publish the dossier for the first time just a few hours later,” the report stated. “Until that point, the dossier had been ‘circulating among elected official, intelligence agents, and journalists,’ but remained unpublished. As the accompanying article explained, ‘[n]ow BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of government.”
Mollie Hemingway from The Federalist noted that the briefing of Trump seemed to be a setup from the beginning, saying that the briefing was scheduled and held so it could be leaked to journalists who wanted an excuse to publish a dossier nobody had verified.
Clapper leaked to Tapper
In Democrats response to the full intelligence committee’s report, committee Democrats defended James Clapper, saying he didn’t break any laws while acknowledging he did leak information about the dossier to CNN’s Jake Tapper.
“Evaluated in context, Clapper denied leaking classified information, while acknowledging that, as DNI, he engaged in legitimate discussion of unclassified, non-intelligence information with Tapper,” they concluded.
James Clapper leaked classified information to CNN’s Jake Tapper and lied about it, but this isn’t the first time Clapper has lied to Congress. he also lied about whether the U.S. government was electronically spying on millions of Americans. Although he eventually apologized to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for lying to Congress about government mass surveillance of American citizens, he subsequently told MSNBC that the question to which he responded–“Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”–was a gotcha question similar to, “When did you stop beating your wife?”
The big question now is, will we see anything more come of this Jake Tapper James Clapper saga?
Source: The Federalist