- Trump celebrated Clapper's comments
- Clapper said he was unaware of the FBI investigation into potential collusion
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee that he was not aware of any evidence demonstrating collusion, but also said he had been unaware of an FBI investigation into the matter until FBI Director James Comey announced it to the public at a House hearing in March.
Clapper previously made a similar comment in an interview on NBC
. Pressed by Sen. Lindsey Graham if that claim was still accurate, Clapper said, "It is."
On the same matter, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said her answer would require revealing classified information and noted that Clapper had just said he was unaware of the FBI's investigation.
President Donald Trump called Clapper's comments a full dismissal of potential collusion and dismissed the entire issue outright in the series of tweets after the hearing, referring to information from the day's events as "old news," "a total hoax" and "#FakeNews!"
Trump also changed the header photo on his personal Twitter account to one including a block with the text of his first tweet about Clapper and "the fake media."
A White House official drew attention to this portion of the hearing as well, telling CNN that "the bottom line" on the Russia inquiries is the question of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
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"President Obama's former director of national intelligence and his former acting CIA director have both said they have seen no evidence of collusion," the official said. "Clapper repeated his assertion today."
The official also pointed to statements from some Democrats who said they had not seen evidence of collusion either.