James ClapperJames Robert ClapperRevisiting America’s torture legacy Pompeo taking lead role in planning Trump’s North Korea meeting: report Republicans on defensive over Russia report finding MORE, a former director of National Intelligence, compared President TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE's contrasting speeches Tuesday and Wednesday to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, calling the sudden character shift "disturbing."

"What caused concern is this sort of ... Jekyll-Hyde business, where he'll make a scripted teleprompter speech, which is good, and then turn around and negate it by sort of the unbridled, unleashed, unchaperoned Trump," Clapper said on CNN.

"And that to me — that pattern — is very disturbing," he said.


Trump delivered a fiery speech reminiscent of his days on the campaign trail during a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, in which he berated the media, threatened to shut down the government over funding for his proposed border wall and defended his statements in the wake of violent white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va. 

But the president took a sharply different approach to a speech on Wednesday at the American Legion's national convention in Nevada. There, he called for unity and urged Americans to work to heal the nation's widening political divide.

Clapper said that contrast has hindered Trump's ability to lead and advance his agenda, and he could salvage his presidency if he began showing a genuine desire to promote unity. 

"I think it would have a profound impact on the country, if he can, in an unguarded moment, convey sincerely his scripted appeals for unity, so that the body language matches the words," Clapper said.

"And so far, there's a discord there. They don't necessarily compute."