Breitbart reports Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper discussed the report that Obama administration officials wanted to “unmask” former President Donald Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
“New Day” host John Berman asked Clapper why he made three specific requests to unmask the name of an individual on December 2, December 28 and January 7.
Clapper said he does not remember why he made those three specific requests, nor does he remember what prompted the request that was made on his behalf.
“No, I don’t,” Clapper told Berman. “I don’t recall what prompted a request that was made on my behalf for unmasking. I don’t remember the specifics or what it was in the second report that was suggestive enough that I was concerned and felt that I should know who was actually involved.”
He added of his concerns with Flynn, “There was general concern about the number of engagements with Russians that we were seeing happening. We may not necessarily have known what the content of these engagements were, but there were numerous engagements by representatives of the Trump camp with Russians. So, that was of … general concern anyway. So that, I think, is what attracted the attention of me and other then-serving national security officials.”
Clapper went on reiterate he never saw direct evidence of collusion between Trump, Flynn or any other Trump officials, but did reveal there could have been a threat to national security, which would be a reason to unmask.
“There could have been, as I say, other reasons why you would unmask,” Clapper stated. “Again, when you read the report, it may not tell you what exactly is going on, so whether it was collusion or what, what you’re trying to determine [is] does this pose a threat to national security?”
Per TCO, In a surreal moment durning the same interview, Clapper’s feed went dead moments after being asked about leaking classified information on CNN.
Per WashingtonExaminer, CNN host John Berman pressed Clapper on the issue Thursday morning, a day after a declassified memo containing a list of Obama administration officials who received information in response to “unmasking” requests pertaining to retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, was made public. Clapper was on the list, which has generated renewed interest in the mystery of who leaked classified details about Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador to the Washington Post in early 2017.
“Asking for names, nothing wrong with that, unmasking in of itself, nothing wrong with that,” Berman said. “Leaking classified information, and by definition, these phone calls were classified, that’s a problem, correct?”
Clapper, who is now a CNN security analyst, responded that it was “absolutely” a problem for the conversations to be leaked. Before he could answer further, Clapper’s image froze, and soon, his half of the split screen went dark.