‘You almost have to have the actual name…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, believed to be a subject in the ongoing Justice Department criminal probe of the Obama-era Russia-gate conspiracy, claimed he couldn’t remember making unmasking requests to the National Security Agency to gather intelligence on incoming Trump adviser Michael Flynn.
Shockingly, Clapper downplayed the process of invading the privacy of American citizens—and political rivals—as being so commonplace during the Obama administration that it didn’t register as significant.
“It’s a routine thing,” he told CNN, as CNS News reported.
Clapper made three separate requests to unmask Flynn, or obtain his redacted identity from intelligence reports, in December 2016 and January 2017 as the Obama White House prepared to yield power to newly elected President Donald Trump.
He cavalierly suggested that the policies in place to Americans from unauthorized domestic surveillance by the secretive intelligence agency were something of an inconvenience.
“You almost have to have the actual name,” Clapper claimed, to understand the “context” and “importance” of the foreign intelligence reports.
Flynn, a three-star general and lifelong Democrat, had served in the Obama administration but had fallen out with the president over policy and managerial differences. He then became a vocal Trump supporter and was offered the position as national security advisor.
Clapper submitted requests on Dec. 2 and Dec. 28, 2016, as well as Jan. 7, 2017.
Flynn was subsequently accused of lying to the FBI regarding a Dec. 29, 2016 phone call with a Russian diplomat. His unmasked identity and the call transcript were leaked to the Washington Post, resulting in his resignation early in the Trump presidency.
That, in turn, helped bolster the fraudulent claims of Russian collusion that snowballed into the two-year Mueller investigation and setting up a perjury-trap plea deal for Flynn.
Although two of the NSA unmasking requests occurred prior to Flynn’s conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Clapper claimed they were justified because of a “general concern [over] numerous engagements by representatives of the Trump campaign with Russians.”
Clapper, in fact, denied that he even made the request, insinuating that they may have been “made on my behalf.”
He previously admitted to CNN last October that the numerous intelligence community’s abuses in the Russia hoax were the direct orders of President Barack Obama.
“The message I’m getting from all this is, apparently what we were supposed to have done was to ignore the Russian interference, ignore the Russian meddling and the threat that it poses to us,” Clapper told CNN anchor Jim Sciutto, “and oh, by the way, blown off what the then commander in chief, President Obama, told us to do, which was to assemble all the reporting that we could that we had available to us.”