News & Politics

James Clapper: 'Obama Is Responsible' for Starting Trump/Russia Investigations

Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper let slip on CNN last week who was behind the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and his associates.

In an attempt to defend his former boss from accusations he did nothing in response to Russia’s election meddling, Clapper bragged that Obama was behind the “whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today.” This would seem to include spying on the Trump campaign.

Clapper told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday:

One point I’d like to make, Anderson, that I don’t think has come up very much before, and I’m alluding now to the President’s criticism of President Obama for all that he did or didn’t do before he left office with respect to the Russian meddling. …

If it weren’t for President Obama, we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably, special counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that, and it was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assess in the first place. I think that’s an important point when it comes to critiquing President Obama.

As you may recall, one of the bombshell texts between former FBI attorney Lisa Page and disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok from early August 2016 mentions that “the White House is running this“:

Those texts came shortly after Strzok had returned from London as part of the recently launched FBI investigation into the Trump campaign known as “Operation Crossfire Hurricane.”

Strzok had traveled to London to interview Australian ambassador Alexander Downer about an alcohol-fueled conversation he’d had with Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who had drunkenly mentioned that Russia had Hillary Clinton’s emails, based on what an informant had fed him. Text messages uncovered in June between the two lovebirds revealed that as far back as December 2015, the FBI had apparently been snooping on the Trump campaign with “oconus lures,” FBI lingo for spies outside the continental United States.

In a text sent a few days after the “White House is running this” text, Strzok again mentioned White House involvement: “Hey talked to him, will let him fill you in. internal joint cyber cd intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session”:

In the texts, “D” refers to former FBI Director James Comey, and “McDonough” referred to Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, GOP investigators told Fox News. McDonough’s name, though, was redacted and only turned up when viewed by GOP investigators.

The FBI did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment on whether McDonough was briefed on the Russia investigation or which investigation the White House was “running.”

If former DNI Clapper is to be believed — that Obama is responsible for “the whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today” — it is not a stretch to believe that the White House was indeed “running this,” just as Strzok wrote.