Clapper: 'I don't know if there was collusion' between Trump and Russia

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says he doesn't know if there was collusion between President Trump's campaign and Russian officials, saying it would have been the FBI director's discretion to tell him.

During a Friday MSNBC interview, Clapper explained that the FBI decides what to tell officials about ongoing investigations.

“I don’t know if there was collusion or not. I don’t know if there was evidence of collusion or not — nor should I have," he said.

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Clapper said his practice "was always to defer to the director of the FBI ... on whether, when and what to tell me about a counterintelligence investigation."


"It’s not surprising or abnormal that I would not have known about the investigation, or more importantly the content of that investigation," he added.

Trump claimed in a Friday tweet that Clapper said there’s no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. 

Clapper, in fact, testified to a Senate panel earlier this week that he was not made aware of any evidence of collusion, but that he had not been aware of the FBI’s investigation at all until then-FBI Director James Comey announced it publicly in March.

Clapper served as former President Obama's director of national intelligence until January, meaning he held the role during the creation of the FBI probe.

Trump fired Comey on Tuesday. He said in a Thursday interview that the FBI’s investigations into Russia’s election interference played a role in his decision to fire the FBI head.