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

Former Director of National Intelligence James ClapperJames Robert ClapperDem rips Clapper: He 'needs to stop making excuses for lying to the American people' Hillicon Valley: Senators urge Trump to bar Huawei products from electric grid | Ex-security officials condemn Trump emergency declaration | New malicious cyber tool found | Facebook faces questions on treatment of moderators Overnight Defense: White House eyes budget maneuver to boost defense spending | Trump heads to Hanoi for second summit with Kim | Former national security officials rebuke Trump on emergency declaration MORE said Wednesday that he's far from sure that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s investigation will clear up questions about President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification 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 McCabeRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Graham says he'll probe Rosenstein's 25th Amendment remarks The damning proof of innocence that FBI likely withheld in Russian probe 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 SessionsRosenstein still working at DOJ despite plans to leave in mid-March Juan Williams: Don't rule out impeaching Trump O'Rourke on impeachment: 2020 vote may be best way to 'resolve' Trump 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.