Clapper: Informant on Trump Campaign a ‘Very Benign Thing’

Wednesday on CNN’s “The Lead,” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told host Jake Tapper that the FBI informant being involved in President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign was a “very benign thing.”

When asked if the intelligence community spied on President Trump and his campaign, Clapper said, “No, we did not. And that is—that is a distortion of what I said. I had an aversion to the use of the term [spying] and thought I made that clear. The important thing is here—what was this all about? Well, what it was about was trying to determine what the Russians were doing, were they trying to gain access, infiltrate a political campaigns? It didn’t matter what the—which campaign, and had nothing to do with spying on the campaign per se, and it was about the Russians, which is what we should all be concerned about, including President Trump.”

He added, “I never knew the identity of informants in the FBI, nor should I. So I’m sure this was—and there are very strict rules and protocol for using informants in any circumstance, and especially one like this. And it appeared to me from what I read, now that unfortunately the individual has been exposed in some parts of the media, that this is a very benign thing that ah — where he engaged directly with two or three people about, again trying to glean insight into what might the Russians be doing here to gain access to the campaign.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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