Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley asked a question of both former DNI James Clapper and former Acting AG Sally Yates that, upon receiving a response in the affirmative, should have been broken down into specifics, at least as to the targeting that was admitted to.
Grassley asked, “Did either of you ever request the unmasking of Mr. Trump, his associates or any member of Congress?” Clapper adopted the infamous “not wittingly” appearance as he hesitated, took off his glasses, stared blankly and uttered a painfully long ummmh, responding, “Yes, in one case I did, that I can specifically recall but I can’t discuss it any further than that.”
The appropriate follow up to that response would have been to determine if it was President Trump, his associates or a member of Congress that he was replying in the affirmative to. It does seem unlikely that he would only recall one such instance if there were more than one and if there was only one have to think that long to verify it in his memory.
There was likely more than one instance of President Trump and others if in fact there was an active domestic spying operation that is being covered up. That would have been the time to get him on the record as either admitting to more than one, or denying the other two classes prior to what is likely to be a follow-up appearance in a closed door hearing. As it is, he’s free to admit to whatever is the least damaging or first known at a future date. Clapper knows how to play the game. He’s lied to the Senate before and gotten away with it.
They both admitted in the second question to having reviewed those types of documents but likewise, due to the setting, refused to provide details.
The next question is different, whether intentionally or not, and, appearing from the fact that Grassley is reading from a script, it may not have been he who deviated. It appears to have been the way it was worded. He asks, “Did either of you ever share information about unmasked Trump associates or members of Congress with anyone else. For some reason that question did not include President Trump himself, although the natural inclination would be to presume that he was included based upon the prior two questions.
Why is that?
The Yates answer that was cut off in the video was an unremarkable statement that she had discussed General Flynn with other members of the Intelligence community.
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