Former US Director Of
America's "institutions are under assault" internally and externally
May 15, 2017
(NATIONAL) -- America's former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper took the highly unusual step Sunday of saying that “our institutions are under assault internally” by President Donald Trump, who he says is “eroding” the American system of “checks and balances” on political power, and externally by Russia.
Former National Intelligece Director James Clapper seen here in a screen shot appearing on CNN Sunday.
Appearing on CNN with correspondent Jake Tapper Clapper said, "The developments of the past week are very bothersome, very disturbing to me...I think in many ways our institutions are under assault...externally, that's the big news here, Russian interference in our election system."
Clapper went on to say, "And as well I think our institutions are under assault internally."
To that comment, Tapper asked: "Internally from the President?"
Clapper also talked of the nation's founding fathers ingeniously creating a "system of three coequal branches of government" with “a built-in system of checks and balances.”
“I feel as though that’s under assault and is eroding,” Clapper said, adding that congressional Republicans should, he believes, publicly speak out and condemn Trump's recent activities.
Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this week and he told NBC News that the reason he did so was his frustration with the FBI's investigation into Trump campaign associates possible ties to Russian efforts to to interfere in the 2016 Presidential election with the goal of helping Trump win the presidency.
An Op-Ed piece Monday in the New York Times by Charles Blow notes that, "When people behave as if they have something to hide, it is often because they do...that’s why President Trump’s baffling, outrageous, unfathomable and just plain bizarre behavior last week strengthened my already strong suspicions that there is something that Trump knows about the investigations into his campaign’s contacts with Russia that he doesn’t want us to know."
From the Times piece:
"That is the only way that I can make sense of what happened: These are either the machinations of concealment, expressions of a burgeoning insanity, or both.
The details of the most recent episode in the Trump madness are now well known and yet every new detail that helps add texture to the story also renders it more horrifyingly egregious."
He adds that many of the new questions about the Trump associates-Russia connections, "Rise not from clandestine sources, but rather from Trump himself. He is talking and tweeting himself into legal jeopardy. He can’t seem to help himself. Something in the man is broken."
"He is insecure, paranoid and brittle, jostling between egomania and narcissism, intoxicated with a power beyond his meager comprehension and indulging in it beyond the point of abuse. Some people are ebulliently optimistic that the abomination is coming undone and may soon be at an end...there are incredibly encouraging signs that the Comey debacle has crystallized sentiment about the severity of Trump’s abnormality and the urgent need for an independent investigation into the Russia connection."
"But I would caution that this is a moment pregnant with calamity. The man we see unraveling before our eyes still retains the power of the presidency until such time as he doesn’t, and that time of termination is by no means assured.
Trump is now a wounded animal, desperate and dangerous. Survival is an overwhelming, instinctual impulse, and one should put nothing beyond a being who is bent on ensuring it."