Clapper: Spying on Leaders a 'Basic Tenet' of What We Do The other side is doing it too, he tells lawmakers By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff Posted Oct 30, 2013 12:13 PM CDT 8 comments Comments Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) (Newser) – Don't expect National Intelligence Director James Clapper to apologize to the world leaders the US has been spying on anytime soon. That's just how the spy game is played, he told the House intelligence committee yesterday. "Leadership intentions, in whatever form that’s expressed, is kind of a basic tenet of what we collect and analyze," he said, per Bloomberg. "It’s invaluable for us to know where countries are coming from, what their policies are and how that would impact us across a whole range of issues." After all, he added, foreign spies are doing the exact same thing in the US. Yesterday, NSA director Keith Alexander also testified, claiming reports of his agency tapping phones in Europe were "completely false."