James Clapper Recalls ‘Staggering’ Proof of Putin Swaying Election to Trump

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has spoken out about the “staggering” amount of evidence that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin swayed the 2016 presidential election. In his new memoir, Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence, Clapper offers a scathing assessment of President Trump and his ties to Russia. The book shows Clapper “free to say about the 2016 elections what he did not say when he testified multiple times before Congress as director of national intelligence,” The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey writes in a review in The Washington Post. As Clapper put it: “Of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point." Describing a January 2017 report by the intelligence community presented to the soon-to-be-president, Clapper said, “I remember just how staggering the assessment felt the first time I read it through from start to finish, and just how specific our conclusions and evidence were.” In the intelligence chief’s view, “We showed unambiguously that Putin had ordered the campaign to influence the election… and how the entire operation had begun with attempts to undermine U.S. democracy and demean Secretary Clinton, then shifted to promoting Mr. Trump when Russia assessed he was a viable candidate who would serve their strategic goals.” Trump’s reaction then as now: “aggressive indifference.”