Susan B Glasser writes: America’s former top spymaster has a few things he’d like to clear up about the Russia investigation.
James Clapper, a crusty ex-cargo pilot who rose through the Air Force ranks and retired as director of national intelligence in January, only to emerge publicly as one of President Donald Trump’s foremost critics, wants you to know that no matter how much Trump rants about the “Russia hoax,” the 2016 hacking was not only real and aimed at electing Trump but constituted a major victory for a dangerous foreign adversary. “The Russians,” he said, have “succeeded beyond their wildest expectations.”
Far from being the “witch hunt” Trump has repeatedly called it, the investigation of whether Trump’s team colluded with Russia constitutes a “cloud not only over the president, but the office of the presidency, the administration, the government and the country” until it is resolved, Clapper told me in an extensive new interview for The Global Politico, our weekly podcast on world affairs.
And yes, Clapper is sticking with his view that the allegations are “worse than Watergate,” given that the Russiagate investigation involves “a foreign adversary actively and aggressively and directly engaging in our political processes to interfere with them and to undermine our system, whereas in Watergate you were dealing with a two-bit petty burglary, domestic only.” [Continue reading…]