James Clapper says U.S. Democratic Institutions "Under Assault" Externally by Russia and Internally by Trump

James Clapper says U.S. Democratic Institutions "Under Assault" Externally by Russia and Internal...

He is correct. This last week was insane. If this crap goes unpunished, it gets normalized, and constitutional government in America ends.

Pretty sure it's too late already... Even if Trump goes down in spectacular fashion, he has already proven that the only reason he is going down is because he is a foolish child with no impulse control.

At this stage he could be getting away with all of it if only he didnt rant on twitter and in public. A more controlled and sophisticated approach to treason would be flying under the radar and nobody would be questioning it.

One way or another Trump set the bar so low, that the example set cant be anything other than "as long as fox news supports you, you can lie and get away with almost anything".

May I humbly suggest people follow Amy Siskind on social media? Experts in Authoritarianism say it's a good idea to keep track of the things that subtly change in society... and she's doing just that.

It's amazing to go back just a few months and realize how far we've already come. From the scrubbing of "global warming" references to the general decaying in the trust in public institutions and beyond... its chilling.

I can't say I disagree. I'd really like for you to be wrong, but I just can't say you are.

I mean, he has literally admitted to obstruction of justice at this point. He has stated in more than one forum now that he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation. Which, even if we believe Trump didn't believe it was targeting him, he clearly knew it was targeting his cronies. And Republicans are all like "well, this raises some concerns."

All I really can say is it's worth trying to save anyway.

What else are Republicans waiting for to impeach this clown? If it was Hilary or Barack, they'll be rushing to impeach!

There's your answer - they will never do anything that could in any way be construed as benefiting democrats, and to their minds that overrides all other considerations including the complete destruction of the country.

If the whole point of Russia's interference in the election was to destabilize and make people question the American government, I'd say they've succeeded.

I disagree. Constitutional concerns permeate every courtroom in this country, every single day. Most members of Congress still care about the Constitution, once you add up all the Democrats who do with the handful of Republicans who do.

We still have something to lose. If Trump goes unpunished because of apathy and cynicism like yours, we will lose it.

The problem is we've convinced ourselves that both sides of an argument are equally valid, and deserve equal time.

If you believe climate change is a hoax, you don't deserve the same amount of speaking time as a scientist. The same goes for people who think vaccines give you autism, smoking is healthy, and the world is flat.

I loathe how everyone thinks those people deserve equal air time and consideration as a huge majority of experts.

It makes it seem like you're choosing between two things... Instead of choosing some wild theory that represents .5% of expert opinion.

The Republicans are encouraging it. If the Republicans stood up to Trump, declared that enough is enough, and actually impeached him, then I would definitely have my trust in public institutions restored. But seeing the entire federal government complicit in enabling Trump with zero criticism, it certainly makes me question if any of this even worth keeping if it's become so unbearably corrupted.

I know many of us want to fall into the trap of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" but let's not forget that both Comey and Clapper are horrible people.

In my eyes Klapper lost the right to talk about "assault on democracy" when he himself lied under oath to congress and spent most of his last years trying to cover up NSA overreach and illegal activities.

Compared to Trump most people are decent human beings but let's not lower the bar so much that people like McCain, Comey and Clapper suddenly are a voice of reason.

The constitution is like disney, it exists but we all know its b.s. in the adult world. Money rules and companies have more rights than people in the U.S.A.

This is exactly the reason we cannot tolerate any increased surveillance on citizens. The surveillance state must be dismantled, it is very clearly too dangerous.

The Republicans are a cancer, but it can be cut out. If people, largely GOP supporters, realise this soon America can be saved.

Is that the same James Clapper that lied under oath?

You can be a "news junkie" who only hears that Trump is popular, the AHCA is common sense legislation that will save us all money, the Trump admin's ties to Russia are a liberal conspiracy theory and republicans were so much more respectful to Obama than these libs are being to Trump, who won the presidency in a landslide.

He's also still a piece of shit for lying to Congress and the public about the NSA spying on Americans.

The two-party system will be the death of the country.

Not necessarily disagreeing with him but Clapper is probably one of the last people you want to put forward as someone who adheres to constitutional checks......

They are waiting for the correct moment right before the 2018 elections. They will try to make this go on as long as they possibly can, so they can stand against Trump in the mid-term and keep their spots

If you talk smack about Trump, it absolves you of all your faults.

Who cares about lying to congress about activities that are tyrannical and Orwellian! Just say Trump is terrible and everyone will forgive you.

"Isn't it better to talk about the relative merits of washing machines than the relative strength of rockets? Isn't this the kind of competition you want?" - Nixon

Even terrible people say meaningful things on occasion, I think at this point the voice of reason could be coming from a filthy urinal and it would still hold more clout than the current American administration.

Plus the whole "Russia is a dick to it's neighbors " to "who cares what Russia did, they're our friends!" change that happened within the last year.

If it was Hilary or Barack, they'll be rushing to impeach!

Would've happened at "grab the pussy", in fact.

President George Washington

That's the same guy that swore the NSA wasn't spying on Americans, right?


Yeah, same guy. Dude can DIAF. Don't need allies like him, no matter what side of this thing you're on.

Yep, we give far too much credence to the dented can section of the marketplace of ideas.

Yes it is

Clapper lied to congress, that's a felony.

Which makes it all the more alarming that he has become so vocal about this.

"I disagree" was my first sentence.

I remember a lot of the Trump supporters citing him when he made more skeptical comments before all the currently available evidence was there. I'm "sure" they will keep citing him now.

Really? The DNC is worse than literal traitors? The DNC is worse than people who would cause wars of distraction, than people who would choose to cut off healthcare to millions in exchange for tax cuts to their rich friends?

Username confirmed. Think before you type.

He lied to congress about the NSA spying on people

Its not the entire federal government. Its one, replacable, half

Ya it works great for the people in power when their fuck ups ruin our country but all the surveillance in the world wouldnt convict them of a crime.

Actually though.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

I have to wonder how many people in this thread are registered to vote. Might it be a good idea to simply get registered and actually make the time to get to the polls.

As the old joke, goes, the Republican party as it stands is not working for the best interests of the Republic, the Democrats have failed to prevent the failure of the interests of the Republic.

All I will say is that not less than a 1/2 dozen times, have we all been reminded of the fact that the Judiciary Branch has come to the rescue of different groups, be it immigrants (legal and illegal), protesters (of any stripe), the press, and most recently of course is a ground-level assault on our most basic right to know what the executive is up to, the assault on women's rights, education and healthcare to say nothing of the boondoggle that is being put together around taxation and infrastructure the rampant jury-rigged tax-debt situation.

While many of these problems are not to be laid a the feet of President Trump, misogyny didn't start with the 2016 election cycle, nor did the assault against public / civic services but the President's willingness to cause drama makes everything else less likely to occur.

But we have the power , each of us - to get out and vote.

It's not even a representative half. It's a gerrymandered bullshit minority. A minority.

And he was also instrumental in getting us into the Iraq War. This is one of the last guys I would trust.

Says the guy who lied to Congress about wholesale data collection by the NSA

What do you mean? I do believe him. I absolutely believe his multiple statements in different forums that he fired Comey in order to hinder his investigation into Russiagate. I believe him, and I'm aware that doing that constitutes obstruction of justice, even if we believe his improbable claim that he didn't think Comey was investigating him personally. He knew Comey was investigating his cronies, and that makes firing him a crime.

All they're saying is they don't want Trump to go unpunished because of cynicism/apathy, and that there are still politicians who care about the constitution. They disagreed with your comment that 'We all know the constitution is BS'.

That's all.

Clapper would have been one of those guys telling german citizens and the world, 'No, we're not collecting jewish names and addresses"(later they(jews, i.e. human beings) were incinerated), and then when asked about it later, Clapper will say he was doing his job, and his job is to protect the state, not the people. He's a traitor to us Americans, and Clapper has helped put in place the infrastructure for fascism.

He's totally ok with authoritarian control, as long as he likes who's in office. He's cool with the Bush/Obama administration spying on Americans, just not the Trump administration... That's now how western representative oligarchy works Mr Clapper, but I understand you live an insulated life surrounded by elite jingoists and mormons(sigint loves mormons!).

He has allegiance to his agency and specific groups of people, not the American people, nor the world. Just because he now doesn't like who's in office doesn't mean anything. His arrogance and ignorance surrounding history and contemporary times allows true evil to exist.

In a March 2013 public hearing in which Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Clapper, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”

At the time, Clapper responded, “No, sir… Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect. But not wittingly.”

Later, however, it was revealed that the NSA did conduct bulk collection of metadata Americans’ communications, permissible under the controversial Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

Edit: he has apologized for the statements since the leaks.

I love how they call Bill a rapist but wont call Trump a rapist

Thwir mental gymnastics would be funny if it wasnt so sad

You pretty much answered your own question.

When Obama was in office they tried to impeach him over damn near everything.

Don't forget the whole crap about Barack not being born in the USA... at this point it's depressing how much shit he's getting away with

B-b-b-but Bill Clinton!


I love this argument as if the DNC taking money from some insurance companies and Wall Street makes them as evil as the RNC, whose former chairman runs the White House, who worked with every soulless oligarch to create an 8 year campaign to lie about Obamacare so they could seize power and take health care away from 24 million poor people so they could get a trillion in tax cuts, who happily spread and supported lies that Obama was a Muslim terrorist who hated America, who preferred Ted fucking Cruz but got Trump instead so they're willing to erode every venerated institution in the the Nation, ignore the constitution, work hand in hand with a foreign adversary to cut their tax cuts, who try to destroy education to ensure they can find people to dupe in the future, who disenfranchise minority voters and democrats via absurd gerrymandering and voter restriction laws they create with the lie of "rampant voter fraud".... I could go on and on.

The DNC didn't fight for this amount of money in politics, and favoring Clinton, an outrageously overqualified candidate who suffered from bad PR and the skeletons everyone in politics has, over a Socialist nobody from Vermont who couldn't build a coalition for 40 years, who he himself was surprised by his popularity may be distasteful, but it is nothing compared to the crimes the RNC has committed.

How many "democratic" elections has the U.S. influenced?

Clapper has about as much credibility as Trump at this point

This is the same James Clapper that lied to congress about the capabilities of the NSA. I'd say he was one of the LEADERS of assaulting our democracy.

Fox News / Koch / Cambridge Analytica will just find another team to keep carrying the torch.

You are absolutely correct. Absolutely. I think it comes​ down to being held accountable. Right now the Republicans have little or no accountability, largely due to the ignorance of their own supporters.

It's not a recipe for a Utopia, but with things like voter suppression, gerrymandering, and Citizens United, we need extreme measures to reverse these changes, and help democratic accountability to be restored. All of which would be next to impossible with the GOP fan base.

We need to fix one problem at a time.

The right's counter argument here is: Don't believe what the President says?

The fact that you have to ask about which lie, specifically is the felony in question should be rather telling in itself.

Totally, thats why he praised Comey non-stop until the spotlight got turned on him. But I'm sure there are plenty of you getting Trumpbux to twist the story.

Yours the most cogent reasoning. Let me try to describe my view points. a) In a country the size of US and the demographics as diverse almost as India, do you seriously think that voter fraud does not exists? I lived in LA for sometime after graduating from grad school. I tell, there is an entire small business category (underground of course) dedicated to getting fake IDs. Suppose, for our argument, there are 100 illegal immigrants. About 50% try to get fake ID, about half of them get it, and say out of that, another half gets to vote. So, out of 100, about 12.5 fake votes. There is a problem with that. Because, you may not see it, but for me, my vote is same as an illegal immigrant who jumped the fence, got into the system, that infuriates me. 2. This is where I have the strongest disagreement with you. Up until the last day prior to the election, Barry Obama, went on the national television (I think there was some kind of town hall) and said, our election can't be hacked, influenced or what not. What happened suddenly when DJT won? If he is a clown that media portrays him to be and after 4 months in his office, the 17 intelligence agencies could not find anything, I bet he is the smartest clown out there. 3. I am not onboard with intimidation, but I up for criticizing judiciary. You guys have no idea what an activist judiciary feels like. This is one freedom, you will have to pry from my dead hand. The freedom to criticize public institution. I disagree the way he did it, but nonetheless, he is and so are you, well with in his rights to criticize the judiciary. Try dealing with Family courts in this country. Do you know you can't criticize the family court judgements? The judges fuck you over big time. 4. I call false indignation on this. The entire length/breadth of political spectrum was clamoring for his head, when he did it, suddenly we love Comey now. I would wait and watch on this. If he picks a political lackey, then I have no problem going for his neck, it kinda tells that there is something he wants to hide, but if he picks someone like Gowdy, you know he means business. Good discussion.

What word would you use to describe Flynn taking money from Turkey but not disclosing it, and talking with Russians but not disclosing it, while NSA?

Yes, of course, as Bill Clinton likes to quote "Even a broken clock is right twice a day". I'm just saying people should remember who is speaking. A lesser evil is still evíl and all that.

Not Pence or Ryan though.

Why isn't this asshole in prison yet?

I agree with that in terms of the money and corruption in politics for sure.

The difference is that in terms of lying to the public. In the past when a politician lied, they at least had to try and align with some notion of reality. If you were a climate change denier you at least have to point to some pseudo-study that backed your opinion.

But now Trump has proven that he needs no evidence at all to make whatever outrageous claim he wants and Fox will relay it to his base as fact and it is treated as such.

This isn't something that will go away when he does... It is a new low for objective truth. Those measured and controlled politicians who have been ruining the world for the past however long will be even more emboldened to contort the truth Edit* (or simply ignore it) to suit their pockets because Trump made it look so easy.

If that's the stunt they try to pull, I hope every last one of them fucking loses.

Chinese American here.imported myself legally to the US of A. I genuinely want to know what trump has done that amounts to assault on Democracy. I support DJT, but that does not mean I'm not open to listening to other views.

Well when you look at the amount of (non political) Russian articles/videos on Reddit it's everywhere.

There's at least one a day on the front page.

There's evidence that he actively colluded with a foreign government to get elected. He admitted to firing the person investigating him on his connections to collusion with Russia because the felt like it was made up, and admitted it on national television. He's not divested himself of his businesses when that's a huge conflict of interest, because he can personally enrich himself by controlling the government. Another conflict of interest is this latest tax plan involves giving himself a $30 million tax break.

Shall I go on? Any single one of these things would have started impeachment proceedings with any other president, and yet the Republican controlled Congress does nothing.

I don't know if this solves the issue. Imagine a world in which a majority of the Republican party is arrested on corruption charges and Democrats run unopposed for the next few years. Do you think this will make them better or worse? Running without opposition is a free license to do whatever you want... You are going to win anyway, it doesn't matter if you break promises.

Are you planning on leaving your kids over $5 million each ($10 million per married couple)? If not, the so called federal death tax doesn't apply, only .2% of the population pays it.

Straight from Wikipedia

If an asset is left to a spouse or a federally recognized charity, the tax usually does not apply. In addition, up to a certain amount varying year by year can be given by an individual, before and/or upon their death, without incurring federal gift or estate taxes:[2] $5,340,000 for estates of persons dying in 2014,[3] $5,430,000 for estates of persons dying in 2015,[4] and $5,450,000 (effectively $10.90 million per married couple) for estates of persons dying in 2016.[5] Because of these exemptions, only the largest 0.2% of estates in the US will have to pay any estate tax.[6]

PRESIDENT Trump has the power to put anyone he wants into the office of the DNI, giving him not just the power to do all of those things you stated but also all of the additional powers of the presidency.

On the point of Clapper having lied to congress and the american people, Trump hasn't lied to congress due to the fact he will not stand in front of them by choice. He has sure as hell already lied to the american people on many occasions. Danger isn't just about what they have done, but the capacity for what they can do.

I have you marked as "Not American"

There's plenty of good men that can replace Trump.

I don't disbelieve the claim, but I just want to know what exactly it is. What specific lie did he tell, and what specific evidence proves it false?

Coz that's easy to do with, say, Jeff Sessions, who claimed he hadn't had any contact with Russian operatives while working as a surrogate on the Trump campaign. In fact, he met with a Russian diplomat in his office while working as a surrogate on the Trump campaign.

Can we do the same with Clapper?

We can all go out and try to start an army. OR, 2. We can do it 'via the system' and contact and support our reps. Make damn sure they know that the house and senate MUST be taken back soon, and the majority of our citizens want progress, not fascism. So theres two ways I can think of anyhow.

You obviously have no knowledge of the aca. Removing the Medicaid expansion and allowing companies to charge higher premiums for preexisting conditions most definitely would strip away access to healthcare for many people.

But aside from that, the mandate (which is the same system used by mitt romney and suggested by the heritage foundation) was forced on the dems because the gop refused to consider single payer. The mandate, or pooling everyone together, is what pays for the higher risk of covering the elderly or those with preexisting conditions. By removing the mandate and throwing them into more expensive high risk pools were literally just going back to the even more broken system we had 8 years ago. Single payer is the only reasonable option to cover every persons care, and yet we still have people like you calling for the country to move backwards, strip away peoples health care, force the poor and sick to have less access, and end what little progress we've made. For shame.

His motives the first time were to protect American interests. His motives this time are probably pretty similar.


Clapper perverted American Democracy. You understand that right?

Have we had a democracy in the past 35 years? Who's to say that he isn't just the first one to not be measured and controlled?

Oh you sweet summer child... wandered in here supporting DJT.. rip your inbox

Is this the same James Clapper who lied to the US Congress about gross violations of rights his agency was involved in? Is this the same James Clapper who told US Congress that your reporting on Snowden's files was a hit-job against the US and democracy?

The Guardian has comments turned off under the article so that must be a good sign. /s

This is exactly what selling out your principles for political goals looks like. The Guardian is a newspaper of hypocrites.

Your congress is the possibly the most corrupt group of individuals to be housed in one room simultaneously.

They are viewed by your countrymen as about as popular as a disease

If there are any that care about your constitution or rights they are a sad minority

You hardly have anything left because the Corptocracy of modern america has usurped most of those rights in the name of security. It's media industry has made you blind to the world it has condemned to endless war for the profits of the few

You think Trump is more dangerous than Clapper or Comey?

I love to listen to the ever truthful Sean Hannity disparage the "death tax", without mentioning to his listeners that most of them are not affected by its existence.

“And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said 'you know, this Russia thing, with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won',” he said.


We need James Cameron to raise the bar.

it's a good idea to keep track of the things that subtly change in society

Here's an interesting measure for you:

How many Star Wars fans, seriously or in jest, supported the Empire in 1977-1983? How many support the Empire now?

Yeah, downvotes around here are almost mechanical, aren't they?

I know I'm in the wrong sub but, seriously. Is there any comparison between Trump and Clapper? You said it yourself, he lied to elected officials and claimed they weren't monitoring American Citizens. If Trump deserves to be impeached for firing someone then what should be done with Clapper? He didn't just threaten democracy, or assault it. He shook the American people's confidence in their government down to it's very core. Arguably, Clapper is one of the biggest reasons why Trump is now president.

I think that's my real issue with all this anti-Trump stuff. There have been some real pieces of shit operating in our government for decades who deserve to be prosecuted... possibly even executed. So why is it that the best we can do as a people is fixate on Trump? Probably the least dangerous of the lot and yet somehow he garners the most hate. What a waste of our energies. :(

Oh -- so now we're listening to James Fuckin' Clapper!! ffs...

When falling you'll grab for any branch, rotting or healthy.

And everyone else's democratic institutions are under assault from James Clapper. Fuck this guy. We don't want him on our team

I appreciate your open mindedness. Here are Just a few off the top of my head:

Claiming mass voter fraud with no evidence. Then using those claims to support voter suppression laws. This is a huge one.

Ignoring and perhaps aiding foreign influence of our election. Regardless of previous attempts by the US to influence other elections, this is an assault on our democracy.

Trying to intimidate and delegitimize judges, and wishing harm upon them because they didn't rule in your favor. The judicial system is a crucial check on the other two branches of government.

Firing the director of the FBI because you don't like that he's investigating your campaign.

Where's the outrage against clapper then?

A secretive government agency that issues general warrants and spy's on the citizens without probable cause.

Government heads that can commit perjury under oath to congress without any legal consequence

Subversion of legal rights with use of parallel construction.

Am I doing this right?

You lost me at least dangerous.

He lost the election by 3 million votes, and despite winning the electoral college, he still insisted that the entire election was fraudulent. That's probably a good place to start as far as encouraging citizens to not trust their democratic system.

yeah but theres like 320 million more people in the US that are presumably mildly more competent.

I mean technically the guy wasn't wrong, "I disagree" does sound like something someone stripping rights would say.

But, uh, I don't know about the rest of the comment.

I'd say the DNC cheating has done more damage than Trump...and even deliberately made Trump a probability.

Fuck it's really depressing that at the time I thought it was going to be the end of him....now look where we are

Clapper was the director of America's national intelligence. In other words he was in charge of all those people with a license to kill and destabilize foreign governments and have wire tapped every citizen in the country. This man goes in front of the body of elected officials and lies to them and the entire American public claiming that we were not authorized to know what the NSA was up to. Clapper perverted American Democracy and then doubled down on it when caught.

You believe Trump the guy who's spent most of his first 100 days as president golfing is more dangerous?

James Clapper is a notorious professional liar who is perhaps best known to most people for being known to have lied under oath to Congress about mass surveillance of Americans. Why anyone would take anything he says seriously at this point is amazing to me.

Clapper is a civilian now or are you saying he has some cult going on.

There is no republicans, the republican party in reality does not exist. Each republican does as they are told as dictated by big business. For all purposes count each one as an employee. Each time one stepped out of line the party set someone else against them with a lot more money, it has happened quite a few times. This reality came crystal clear to me when every single republican, every single one, voted to impeach Clinton.

No. We have one party that is corrupt, and one party that is slightly corrupt and attempting (and failing) to utilize that corruption to rid ourselves of it. Ineffectually fighting fire with fire, in short. That is in large part because of the direct efforts of the far more corrupt party, but also because of the startlingly depressing apathy exhibited by our citizens on average.