Less than 24 hours before ousted FBI Director James Comey testifies before Congress, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has revealed that the Watergate scandal that forced former President Richard Nixon to resign “pales” in comparison to the ongoing Russia investigations that have derailed the Trump administration.
According to a report from Reuters, Clapper told reporters in Australia on Wednesday:
“I think if you compare the two that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we’re confronting now.”
Clapper, who served as director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, has disputed President Donald Trump’s notion that the investigations, including one each in the Senate and House intelligence committees and another under the direction of special prosecutor Robert Mueller, amount to a “witch hunt.”
Despite strong evidence that the Kremlin interfered in last year’s presidential election to tilt the election in Trump’s direction, as determined by all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, Trump has maintained a “warm” relationship with the Russian government, something that Clapper said is “inexplicable.”
Trump’s decision to share highly-sensitive information with two top Russian diplomats reflects “either ignorance or disrespect, and either is very problematic,” Clapper concluded.