James Clapper: Hillary Told Me ‘Don’t Let the First Amendment Get You Down’ After Embarrassing Interview

James Clapper
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

In his recently released book, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reveals a private note sent to him by Hillary Clinton in which she wrote, “Don’t let the First Amendment get you down!”

In the book, titled, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence, Clapper wrote that Clinton sent him the missive following his December 2010 blunder during an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in which Clapper appeared to have been ignorant of the arrests in London of 12 men in an alleged terror plot.  The arrests, which led the international news coverage that day, took place hours before the ABC News interview was recorded.

Clapper reveals Clinton’s letter within the context of the media coverage of her use of a private email server to send messages, some of which were later classified.

Clapper wrote (emphasis added):

I remembered the note she’d sent to me four years earlier after the Diane Sawyer flap over “London,” the one reading “As a longtime observer—and sometimes victim—of the press ‘gotcha game,’ don’t let the First Amendment get you down! All the best, Hillary.” I’m sure she could have used a similar note just about then, but my official position prevented me from reciprocating with that kind of support to any political candidate.

During the ABC interview, Sawyer began with a question about the foiled London plot. “First of all, London,” Sawyer stated “How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? … Director Clapper?”

After a brief pause, Clapper asked “London?”

President Obama’s then-chief counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, who was also being interiewed, chimed in to explain the arrests.

“I was a little surprised you didn’t know about London,” Sawyer said to Clapper later in the interview.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t,” he conceded.

Attempting to explain the snafu, Clapper’s office told reporters at first that Sawyer’s question was “ambiguous.”

Later, a spokesperson from Clapper’s office told ABC News, “Director Clapper had not yet been briefed on the arrests in the United Kingdom at the time of this interview taping.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Written with research by Joshua Klein.



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