Snarking that Clapper, who had questioned Trump’s fitness for office in the wake of his response to the violence in Charlottsville, “is now an authority on Donald Trump,” POTUS added, “Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?”
Clapper told CNN he can’t show the letter because he did not keep a copy. But, he explained, the night before the presidential election, he hand-wrote “almost identical short notes to each of the two candidates to accompany the first brief as President-elect; only one actually got deployed — the one to him.”
The undelivered note to Hillary Clinton “congratulated her on her victory and said the intelligence community stood by to serve her with the best intelligence it could muster,” CNN’s Jake Tapper reported, noting the letter to Trump “said the same thing.”
“I went on to say that I hoped he would abide by the long-standing principle of the [intelligence community] always telling ‘truth to power,'” Clapper told CNN.
Trump thanked him three times for the note when leaders of the intel community traveled to Trump Tower on January 6 to brief POTUS-elect on Russian interference in the election, Clapper said.
“Of course he shot the messengers on the 11th of January when he characterized us as Nazis for having delivered truth to power,” he added.
Clapper also was on with CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Wednesday, when the former intel chief said he found Trump’s rally speech in Phoenix to “bizarre” and “very disturbing” and questioned his fitness to hold office. Watch that interview below:
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.