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Trumpgates vs Watergate

Europe
07.06.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Watergate "pales" in comparison to Trump issues, ex-US spy chief says
The controversies surrounding US President Donald Trump are worse than Richard Nixon‘s Watergate scandal, the former US spy chief said Wednesday in a scathing assessment.
GALLERY
Sydney (dpa) - The Watergate scandal involved an array of secret and at times illegal activities undertaken by members of then-president Nixon‘s administration, ultimately leading to his resignation in 1974.
United States President-elect Donald Trump at the clubhouse of Trump International Golf Club, in Bedminster Township, New Jersey, USA, 20 November 2016.

James Clapper, the retired director of national intelligence in the Obama administration and who has expressed concerns in the past, doubled down on his views on Trump during an address at National Press Club in Canberra.

He said Trump has launched an "assault" on the United States and its institutions, calling the firing of FBI director James Comey "egregious and inexcusable."
Clapper also said the sharing of sensitive intelligence with Russia was "very problematic."

"Watergate pales really, in my view, compared to what we are confronting now," Clapper said.

Clapper said Trump asked him directly to publicly refute the infamous dossier into his alleged Russian ties, but he "couldn‘t and wouldn‘t do" so.

"Is there a smoking gun with all the smoke? I don‘t know the answer to that," he said.

The handling of Russia reflected either ignorance or disrespect and either is very problematic, Clapper said.

"Certainly, the whole episode with the firing of Jim Comey ... apart from the egregious inexcusable manner in which it was conducted, reflects complete disregard for the independence and autonomy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," he said.

Comey is appearing at a US Senate hearing on Thursday as part of an investigation into whether Trump‘s campaign colluded with Russian officials and if there was an interference in the US election.

Trump reportedly asked Comey to consider dropping the investigation into Michael Flynn, Trump‘s former national security advisor, whose contacts with Russia had become a focus.

Trump denies the allegation.

 

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