Clapper: Watergate 'pales' compared to Trump Russia scandal

"There is great anticipation about his hearing and about what he might say", James Clapper, a former USA director of national intelligence, told the ABC.

Mr Clapper this morning reflected on living through the major political scandal in the 1970s that rocked President Richard Nixon's administration.

Clapper said that, that historical moment now "pales" in comparison to the Trump Russia probe.

On the former, Clapper told Australia's National Press Club in Canberra that Trump's "internal assault" on America's institutions is driven by "paranoia and resentment of any doubt cast on the legitimacy of his election".

Former FBI Director James Comey will be testifying before Congress Thursday as the Senate Intelligence Committee looks into allegations that Russian Federation was involved in hacking to disrupt the 2016 U.S. elections.

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“The Russians are not our friends, ” Clapper said, adding that Trump had also expressed to him that he wanted he wanted good relations with the Russian government.

"Ever transactional, he simply asked me to publicly refute the infamous 'dossier, ' which I could not and would not do", Clapper said. He excoriated Trump's sharing of classified intelligence with Russian officials during an Oval Office visit last month, calling it a "complete disregard for the independence and independency and autonomy" of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which reflected "either ignorance or disrespect".

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But he says the allegations under multiple investigations of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election are more concerning.

Clapper also said in his address that he believes Silicon Valley companies can do more to address false or unsafe content on social media platforms.

He also took a swipe at Mr Trump for comparing the USA intelligence community to Nazi Germany, believing he and his team were extremely paranoid about their probe into Russian interference casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election.

Tech companies have a "social responsibility" to filter information on their feeds and to provide encryption access to authorities, former USA director of national intelligence James Clapper said in an interview on Wednesday.

Clapper explicitly accused Russian Federation of planting "fake news" to aid the Trump campaign, and said Russian Federation "are not our friends".

"No smoking gun, no credible evidence that the campaign had not coordination but communication with an ambassador", Huckabee said. It was in Russia's "genes to be opposed, diametrically opposed, to the United States and western democracies". I dont know the answer to that.

Mr Clapper could not say how long the "assaults" could continue without doing irrevocable damage.

"I think there needs to be a very serious dialogue about giving criminals, terrorists, rapists, murderers et cetera, a pass".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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