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Former National Intelligence Official Warns Historic Government 'Institutions Are Under Assault’

The Russian scandal and President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director are evidence that the U.S. government is “under assault,” according to James Clapper, director of national intelligence in the Obama administration.

“I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally - and that’s the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system,” Clapper told CNN. “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.” When asked, ‘internally, from the president?’ the ex-official replied: “Exactly.” Clapper warned that the nation’s system of checks and balances among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government is “under assault and is eroding.”

Fox News explained that Clapper was reacting to Trump’s dismissal of FBI chief James Comey last week. The administration initially claimed the firing was in retribution for the director’s handling of the FBI probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. However, in an interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt, the president admitted he was upset with Comey for investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and the possible collusion of the Trump campaign. Trump called the director a “showboat” and a “grandstander.”

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, during an NBC interview, called for a veteran FBI agent to replace Comey. “It’s now time to pick somebody who comes from within the ranks, or is of such a reputation who has no political background at all who can go into the job from Day 1,” he said. Graham argued that two of the 14 contenders for the job, Texas Sen. John Cornyn and former Michigan Congressman Mike Rogers, do not meet that qualification. “These are not normal circumstances,” the senator said. “The president has a chance to clean up the mess he mostly created. I have no evidence the president colluded with the Russians at all, but we don’t know all the evidence yet.”

White House officials reported they had interviewed eight candidates to head the FBI, and that Trump would make a selection by the end of this week.

Source: FoxNews
Photo: YouTube

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