Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper testifies to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing on “Russias intelligence activities" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 10, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
11:51 AM 05/31/2018
James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, said he has not seen “smoking gun” or “direct” evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
“I saw no smoking-gun evidence of collusion before I left the government, and I still havent,” Clapper told Vox in an interview Thursday to promote his new book, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence.” “There is a lot of circumstantial evidence and reasons to be suspicious, but no smoking gun as of yet.”
Clapper did say he was interested in the number of contacts between members of the Trump campaign and people linked to the Russian government. He wrote in “Facts and Fears” that “the dashboard warning lights were all lit.”
“I certainly wondered about [collusion] when I saw the frequency of meetings between people in the Trump campaign and people with ties to the Russian government,” said Clapper, who now works as a CNN analyst. (RELATED: James Clapper Discussed Dossier With CNN, According To House Intel Report)
Clapper went on to say he hopes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will be able to get to the bottom of whether the campaign colluded with the Kremlin. The allegation is laid out most directly in the infamous dossier written by former British spy Christopher Steele, funded by Democrats.
“The country badly needs a resolution on this issue because it hangs over us like a cloud right now,” Clapper told Vox. “Im certainly not saying there was no collusion; I just havent seen any direct evidence of it yet.”
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