Mueller report may be 'anti-climactic,' says ex-intelligence director

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperTrump lashes out at former intel officials for criticism of Iran tweet Trump knocks news of CNN hiring ex-FBI official McCabe Conservatives lash out at CNN for hiring Andrew McCabe MORE said Wednesday that he's far from sure that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE’s investigation will clear up questions about President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE and Russia.

He said he was hopeful the Mueller probe will provide some answers, but warned it might not even draw a conclusion on whether there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

“I think the hope is that the Mueller investigation will clear the air on this issue once and for all. I’m really not sure it will, and the investigation, when completed, could turn out to be quite anti-climactic and not draw a conclusion about that,” Clapper said Wednesday on CNN. 

Clapper, a frequent critic of Trump's, said people in the intelligence community see a strange deference on the president's part toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“The strange thing I think that has bothered a lot of people both in and out of the intelligence community is this strange personal deference to Putin by the president. I’ve speculated in the past that the way Putin behaves is to treat President Trump as an asset,” Clapper said Wednesday. 

He added that if Trump were indeed advancing Putin’s interests, he would more likely be doing so unwittingly. 

The White House has lashed out at Clapper over his criticism in the past and announced in August it was reviewing existing security clearances for Clapper and several other former intelligence and law enforcement officials who have criticized the White House.

Speculation has ramped up over Trump’s relationship with Russia after it was reported last month that the Justice Department had opened an investigation into whether the president was working on behalf of Moscow’s interests.

Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeWe've lost sight of the real scandal Former Obama officials willing to testify on McCabe's behalf: report Sunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate MORE on Friday claimed that he believes "it’s possible" Trump is a Russian asset

McCabe, who was fired from the FBI by then-Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsLewandowski says he's under no obligation to speak truthfully to the media Nadler considering holding Lewandowski in contempt Lewandowski, Democrats tangle at testy hearing MORE shortly before his retirement, has frequently criticized the president since his dismissal.

— This post was updated at 6:52 p.m. to clarify the circumstances surrounding McCabe's firing.