This morning, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) appeared on Fox News to reinforce some of what we already reported on earlier today, namely that former Obama Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper seemingly contradicted himself during his testimony on Monday.
“I like General Clapper, he has been a patriot for a long time… It was the Russians that tried to interfere in our election, every member of the committee agrees it was the Russians. But here is why it is important to know about the unmasking of the conversations between the ambassador and Gen. Flynn.
Somebody took that information and leaked it to the Washington Post. You can not allow intelligence to be politicized, so I want to get to the bottom line on who did that. There is a small universe of people who can ask the intelligence community to give them conversations between a foreign agent and an American citizen, and Gen. Clapper contradicted himself.
I asked him point blank: Was there any incidental collection of presidential campaign candidates or their campaign team. He later said yes, there was with Trump, there was an unmasking request [Clapper] made regarding a member of Congress and Trump. Were there more? I don’t know…
That’s completely contrary to what they told me earlier. Now we know there was at least one.
Why does this matter? I want to know what kind of system we have in America. I talk to foreign leaders all the time in my capacity as a U.S. senator. If the intelligence community is capturing my conversations, because they are focused on… the guy I am talking to, I want to know what they can do with my part of the conversation.
I may be talking about things that are no business of the executive branch to know. I’m really very much concerned we’re got a system in place where you can capture conversations between American citizens, political leaders, and somebody with a political bent can take that information and use it in a political fashion. Like leaking it to the Washington Post.
I’m very worried about what Russia did in the election and what they could do in the future, but there are two battlefields here: What the Russians did… and what did the Obama administration do when it comes to unmasking for intelligence gathering purposes.”
Graham is right, Clapper isn’t telling us everything, and it’s obviously not to protect our national interests. If he were simply trying to protect classified information Clapper could have answered that he was not able to divulge the information in an open hearing, but instead he chose to give opposing answers to the questions from the Senate committee.
The one thing that has been completely clear throughout this process has been that something is amiss in the stories being told by the former members of the Obama administration. None of what they have to say makes sense, and none of their stories add up when pieced together with the things we know to be true.