SPICER ADMITTED CLAPPER CLAIM IS FALSE
May 9, 2017
Trump and Spicer have repeatedly pushed the false claim that former DNI director James Clapper admitted there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Today, Spicer finally acknowledged that Clapper has made clear that evidence of collusion could exist and that he was only commenting on what he had been privy to before leaving the government four months ago.
MAJOR GARRETT: “I’m asking you if you accept what [Clapper] testified, equally.”
MAJOR GARRETT: “That they have equal weight. That yes at the time he said, and the agency said, they found no evidence, which is a representative fact that you take as valid, and it’s also a representative fact that you take as valid he was not aware of an FBI counter-intelligence investigation and therefore at this time cannot say conclusively there was no collusion, you give them equal weight, correct?”
“Sean Spicer final admitted that President Trump has been inaccurately characterizing James Clapper’s testimony and that Clapper did not say that no evidence of collusion exists.” – DNC deputy communications director Adrienne Watson
CNN: “The implication from [Yates and Clapper] was there may, indeed, by evidence of collusion – this after months of the White House arguing that Clapper was clear there is no evidence.”
In Clapper’s own words:
GRAHAM: Ms. Yates, do you have any evidence — are you aware of any evidence that would suggest that in the 2016 campaign anybody in the Trump campaign colluded — colluded with the Russian government intelligence services in improper fashion?
YATES: And Senator, my answer to that question would require me to reveal classified information. And so, I — I can't answer that.
GRAHAM: Well, I don't get that because he just said he issued the report. And he said he doesn't know of any. So, what would you know that's not in the report?
YATES: Well, I think that Director Clapper also said that he was unaware of the FBI counter intelligence investigations.
GRAHAM: Would it be fair to say that the counter-intelligence investigation was not mature enough to come to his — to get in the report. Is that fair, Mr. — Mr. Clapper?
CLAPPER: I — that's an — that's a possibility.