GOP report: Clapper told CNN host about Trump dossier in 2017
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has admitted to lawmakers that he discussed the “Steele dossier” about President Trump and Russia with a CNN journalist in early 2017, according to a report from Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.
The journalist Clapper spoke with was CNN host Jake Tapper, whose name appeared on a bombshell report in January 2017 that first revealed that former FBI Director James Comey had briefed Trump on the dossier’s salacious allegations.
Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee on Friday released the results of their yearlong investigation into Russia’s election meddling. The GOP-authored document — denounced by Democrats as a partisan whitewash — found no evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia.
House Republicans interviewed Clapper for the report. They say that Clapper at first “flatly denied” leaking the contents of the dossier, but later admitted to discussing the dossier with Tapper and other journalists in early January of 2017, shortly before Trump’s inauguration.
“Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists abut the same topic,” the Republican report says. “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in ‘early January 2017,’ around the time [intelligence officials] briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information.’ ”
Clapper has been a vocal Trump critic, questioning his fitness for office and warning that law enforcement officials and the intelligence community are “under assault” by the president.
James Comey and James Clapper insist they had nothing to do with the media reporting of the Russian dossier.
It sure looks like that isn’t true. Read this remarkable section from the Intel report. Clapper discussed the dossier with journalists and lied to the committee about it. pic.twitter.com/sEAOkahJUT
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) April 27, 2018
According to Comey’s personal memos, Clapper asked him to brief the president on the contents of the dossier, which he did before the inauguration. His memos say Comey warned Trump that “media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important we not give them an excuse to write that the FBI has the material.”
The Jan. 10, 2017, CNN report had bylines from Tapper, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto and Carl Bernstein.
Shortly after CNN’s report, BuzzFeed News published the dossier in full.
Trump has blamed the intelligence community for leaking about the meeting and the dossier. Clapper released a statement at the time saying that he had assured the incoming president that neither he nor anyone in the intelligence community was responsible for the leak.
“I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security,” Clapper said.
Clapper joined CNN as a national security analyst in August of 2017. CNN’s reporters will receive an award at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner on Saturday night for the report about the dossier.
“These four journalists and a number of other CNN reporters broke the story that the intelligence community had briefed President Barack Obama and then-President elect Donald Trump that Russia had compromising information about Trump,” the WHCA website says. “The CNN team later reported that then-FBI Director James Comey personally briefed Trump about the dossier. Thanks to this CNN investigation, ‘the dossier’ is now part of the lexicon.”
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