Clapper: US Institutions 'Under Assault'
Former DNI has dire words about Trump's firing of Comey
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2017 12:45 PM CDT
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In this Monday, May 8, 2017, file photo, former National Intelligence Director James Clapper testifies before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism hearing: "Russian Interference in the 2016 United States Election."   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

(Newser) – The former director of national intelligence minced no words Sunday in describing "our institutions" as being "under assault, both externally—and that's the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system," Clapper told CNN in addressing James Comey's firing as he investigated that interference. "I think as well our institutions are under assault internally." Asked, "Internally, from the president?" Clapper said, "Exactly." He continued: "The founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances. I feel as though that is under assault and is eroding." There was lots more Comey reaction on the Sunday dial, via the AP:

  • Chuck Schumer: Wants a new FBI director "not of partisan background" with "great experience" and "courage." He also said Democrats should refuse to confirm a new director until a special investigator into Russian meddling had been appointed, per CNN.
  • Lindsey Graham: "It's now time to pick somebody (to run the FBI) 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."
  • Mark Warner: "I think Jim Comey deserves his chance to lay out to the American public his side of the facts," Warner said, per the Hill. "We would love to have Director Comey appear in an open hearing." Further, "how he was treated was pretty awful by this president."

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