Clapper claims he ‘didn’t lie’ about NSA spying on Americans, but ‘didn’t understand’ the question

NSA director-turned-cable-news-pundit James Clapper continues to be insisting he wasn’t mendacity when he informed a congressional panel the NSA wasn’t spying on American residents – three months earlier than Edward Snowden informed everybody it was.

I didn’t lie, I made a giant mistake. I simply merely didn’t perceive what I used to be being requested about,” Clapper informed CNN’s New Day, marking the third time he’s modified his story concerning his infamous pre-Snowden testimony. He additional defined he’d been considering of one other dubiously constitutional surveillance program – part 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – fairly than part 215 of the Patriot Act, maybe hoping the viewers had forgotten the context of his response six years earlier.

Asked in early 2013 whether or not the NSA had gathered “any sort of information in any respect on thousands and thousands of Americans,” Clapper responded “not wittingly.” Just a number of months later, Snowden launched his first explosive trove of paperwork exposing the NSA’s large covert knowledge assortment program. Oops!

It was laborious to spin what seemed to be bare perjury, but the bejowled nationwide safety director has actually tried his greatest since then. Back in 2014, Clapper was claiming Sen. Ron Wyden had put him on the spot by asking him about a categorized program in an “unsecure” setting, implying he needed to hold quiet about the program, as a result of terrorism (despite the fact that Stellar Wind and its substitute have by no means led to the apprehension of a single terrorist). 

Clapper had initially claimed he gave the “least untruthful” reply to a “sophisticated” question, splitting hairs over the definition of “assortment” and complaining about the ‘When did you cease beating your spouse’-type question. But Wyden rapidly dispelled that excuse, mentioning that the NSA director had acquired the senator’s questions a day prematurely, to supply time to arrange his solutions, and had even been given an opportunity to qualify his response. 

Wyden’s response, by the way, additionally disqualifies Clapper’s most current excuse for mendacity. But you virtually should really feel sorry for a man who’s been decreased from operating the nation’s strongest spy company to making visitor appearances on CNN. What’s his subsequent response going to be, blaming his evil twin? Oh, proper. He already tried that, too. 

Clapper, confronted with an absence of proof to again up the conspiracy concept that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, as soon as informed NBC that Russians are “virtually genetically pushed to co-opt, penetrate, acquire favor, no matter.” Perhaps that assertion was a cry for assist.