Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperCan Mueller be more honest than his colleagues? Ratings show Comey buzz is all hype FISA investigation needed to end American mistrust in government MORE says he can’t promise the United States would be able to stop another person like Edward Snowden. 

He made the comment in an interview with The Daily Beast for a profile.

“In the end,” Clapper said, “we will never ever be able to guarantee that there will not be an Edward Snowden or another Chelsea Manning because this is a large enterprise composed of human beings with all their idiosyncrasies.”

Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency, has been leaking highly classified documents since June, exposing secret U.S. government operations.

“It’s gut wrenching for me to see so much of this so casually exposed,” Clapper said. “It’s terrible.”  

Clapper became intelligence director in 2010, a role The Daily Beast describes as “the worst job in Washington.” Since the leaks, Clapper has declassified various documents that make U.S. intelligence programs more transparent to the public. 

Nevertheless, he said he doesn’t understand why Snowden stole the files.

“Maybe if I had, I’d understand him better because I have trouble understanding what he did or what he’d do,” he said. “From my standpoint, the damage he’s done — I could almost accept it or understand it if this were simply about his concerns about so-called domestic surveillance programs. But what he did, what he took, what he has exposed, goes way, way, way beyond the so-called domestic surveillance programs.”