I’m not sure at what point James Clapper transformed himself from a presumably serious person into a parody of James Carville–whether it was before or after he perjured himself in Senate testimony–but it has happened:
Fmr. U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Watergate pales to what we’re confronting now. pic.twitter.com/LisckDgEMm
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) June 7, 2017
The Watergate scandal pales in comparison to events in Washington surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump and alleged links between his campaign and Russia, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Wednesday.
Clapper questioned Trump’s continued pro-Russian stance, saying his sharing of intelligence with Russia “reflect either ignorance or disrespect, and either is very problematic”.
“I think if you compare the two that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we’re confronting now,” Clapper told reporters in Canberra, Australia’s capital.
Pales in comparison to Watergate? Bitch, please!
And from Australia’s ABC network:
Mr Clapper also launched a furious attack on Mr Trump’s performance in office, saying his hostility towards US government institutions did enormous damage to the country.
“I’m ever the optimist so I do have great faith and confidence — even though they are under assault — in our basic institutions,” he said.
“That is not unlimited, though, so the question is: how long can these assaults go on and the institutions not be irrevocably damaged?”
He also gave a withering account of Mr Trump’s behaviour since he came to office. He accused the President and his administration of disparaging the intelligence community’s assessment of serious Russian interference in the election.
“This was prompted, I found … by his and his team’s extreme paranoia about and resentment of any doubt cast on the legitimacy of his election, which of course our assessment did.”
I can’t imagine why anyone would be paranoid or resentful about a man or organization that, in the face of massive empirical voting data to the contrary, questioned the legitimacy of their election. I’d think people would be happy to be accused of being elected by a foreign government.
People are free to believe whatever they wish. If you want to believe this–whatever this is–ranks with Watergate in seriousness knock yourself out. I don’t think you have the right to expect that you won’t be laughed at behind your back but drive on. To date, the only misconduct that can be articulated involves leaks of classified information designed to hurt Trump and his administration. The only malfeasance that can be articulated pertaining to Russian meddling is that the FBI and the Obama administration didn’t care enough to actually do anything about it. Will one or more of Trump’s entourage face a federal indictment for financial improprieties? That’s a pretty sure bet but that is not Watergate.
If it turns out that Donald Trump met with Russian operatives to collaborate on using the power of the Russian government to win the election, well, I’ll be more than willing to eat crow at that point. But until there is at least an allegation of misconduct that can be formulated–and, I’m sorry, but not liking Trump’s desire to have closer relations with Russia really doesn’t make it a scandal–then this kind of talk tells you that the real agenda is simply damaging the guy who beat Hillary Clinton.