Clapper: The walls are closing in on Trump

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperIntelligence chiefs should be commended, despite Trump's attacks on them Hillicon Valley: House Intel panel will release Russia interviews | T-Mobile, Sprint step up merger push | DHS cyber office hosting webinars on China | Nest warns customers to shore up password security House Intel panel votes to release Russia interview transcripts to Mueller MORE says President Trump is lashing out against special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE because of his rapidly rising legal pressure.

“The volume and the — to me — irrationality of some of the things he’s saying and his tweets at least tell me that the walls are kind of crashing in on him,” Clapper told CNN host Matt Berman on Friday.


Trump suffered major legal setbacks last week when two of his former confidants were found guilty or pleaded guilty to federal charges. 

Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in New York to bank and tax fraud and violating campaign finance law by arranging hush-money payments for two women, saying he did so in coordination with Trump and his presidential campaign.  

And Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortMueller subpoenas former Cambridge Analytica employee Make the special counsel report public for the sake of Americans Paul Manafort should not be sentenced to 20 years in prison MORE, was convicted by a federal jury in Virginia on eight counts of bank and tax fraud charges brought by Mueller’s team.

Trump has repeatedly attacked the special counsel probe as a "witch hunt," calling for Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight The Memo: Trump and McCabe go to war MORE, who has recused himself from the Russia investigation, to end the investigation "right now."

Clapper said it’s not just a coincidence that Trump has ratcheted up his attacks on Mueller in recent days.

“I just think that more and more he legally feels like he’s in jeopardy,” Clapper said. “I think what he’s trying to do — to use a military expression — is prep the battlefield for taking some action later and in the meantime, maximum extent that he can, undermining credibility of the investigation.”

Clapper said in June that he hopes Mueller wraps up the Russia investigation soon so that the country knows definitively whether there was any collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

"I think the overarching point here is that this whole issue has to come to a resolution,” Clapper told Hill.TV.