Recently released transcripts show that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress that he did not brief President Obama on then-incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s calls with a Russian ambassador, but former FBI Director James Comey said he did.
Clapper, in a July 2017 interview with the House Intelligence Committee, said he did not brief Obama on Flynn’s calls with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak.
During that interview, then-Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL) asked Clapper: “Did you ever brief President Obama on the phone call, the Flynn-Kislyak phone calls?”
Clapper responded: “No.”
However, Comey said during his interview with the House Intelligence Committee five months earlier, in March 2017, that Clapper had briefed Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden on the calls.
I briefed it to the Director of National Intelligence and Director Clapper asked me for copies which I shared with him. In the first week of January he briefed the President and the Vice President and then President Obama’s senior team about what we had found and what we had seen to help them understand why the Russians were reacting the way they did.
The conflicting statements were highlighted by Twitter account @JohnWHuber:
UPDATE: Oh Jim Clapper, you've got a MAJOR problem. You denied under oath ever briefing Obama on the Flynn/Kislyak calls.
Well it's not just Andy McCabe who says you did, in a book.
James Comey said you did, under oath to Congress.🚨 pic.twitter.com/U6mtNXygpi
— Undercover Huber (@JohnWHuber) May 9, 2020
Journalist John Solomon noted in “Just The News” former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe also backed that account in his memoir The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, where he wrote that “Clapper verbally briefed it to President Obama.”
House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA) said Sunday his team referred several people to the Justice Department for possible false testimony, illustrated in the newly released transcripts.
Clapper’s interview was part of a trove of secret interviews that was recently released by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) under pressure from Republicans, and Comey’s interview was an exhibit released along with the Justice Department’s Motion to Dismiss the case against Flynn.