Investigative reporter Sara Carter reported three big takeaways from the House Intelligence Committee report, two of which we already reported. The one we didn’t mention was about James Clapper, the former DNI. As it happens, he too leaked and lied, but they were merely means to an end.
Clapper lied and leaked to contrive the release of the so-called dossier. He collaborated with James Comey to do it according to former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino who has reliable sources.
Former FBI Director James Comey told the President about the “salacious” and “unverified” dossier as he described it. By his own admission, he never told by the President that the dossier was paid for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
When asked by Jake Tapper why he didn’t tell Trump about who paid for the dossier, Comey played it coy. He said he didn’t think it was part of his mission. On Thursday evening, Comey told Bret Baier on Special Report that he didn’t know who paid for it.
Dan Bongino told Sean Hannity on his radio show April 20th that James Comey was directed to brief President Trump about the golden showers allegations. Comey was also told to not tell him that Hilary Clinton and the DNC paid for it. The person advising him, according to Bongino, was James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence.
A few days after Comey gave the information to the President, CNN released it publicly. It was ostensibly ‘okay’ to leak because the President knew. Following that, Clapper became a CNN employee and the Buzzfeed story came out.
According to the House Intel report, James Clapper “provided inconsistent testimony to the Committee about his contacts with the media, including CNN.”
He lied at first and then told the truth.
He initially told the committee he did not leak to the media, but, the report states that Clapper eventually acknowledged discussing the “dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper.” He also admitted that he may have told other journalists about the dossier.
It led to the dossier story blowing up.
“Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time Intel Community leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the IC,” the Russia report states.
On January 10th, 2017, CNN reported that then-President-elect Trump had been briefed on January 6th about the salacious yet unverified dossier, compiled by Steele.
The timing was critical and it was followed by the Buzzfeed publication of the salacious and unverified dossier.
ACCORDING TO THE REPORT
Clapper “flatly denied” during a July 2017 interview with the committee “discuss[ing] the dossier [compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele] or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.”
Clapper later in the same interview “acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper.’ And he admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic,” the report said.
CNN used Clapper’s leak as the source for a Jan. 10, 2017, article that said Trump and President Barack Obama had been briefed on the details of the anti-Trump dossier.
Before Clapper’s leak, the dossier had circulated among government officials and reporters. But it was never published because its claims couldn’t be verified. Clapper’s leak about the briefing gave CNN and then BuzzFeed News the hook to publish the full dossier.
Clapper manipulated the situation with his leak to get the dossier out into the public.
“The Committee assesses that leaks to CNN about the dossier were especially significant, since CNN’s report ‘that two page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump’ was the proximate cause of BuzzFeed News’ decision to publish the dossier for the first time just a few hours later,” the report said.
Democrats on the committee put out their own report Friday. Interestingly, they don’t deny that Clapper leaked and lied but they claim his position allowed him to do so.
Clapper is currently a CNN analyst. How appropriate!
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 27, 2018