CLAPPER: Watergate ‘pales’ in comparison to Trump-Russia investigation

Speaking at the National Press Club of Australia, former top US intelligence official James Clapper voiced concerns over the Trump-Russia investigation, saying Watergate “pales” in comparison. Following is a transcript of the video.

I have to say though that I think, you compare the two, that Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we’re confronting now.

His subsequent actions, sharing of sensitive intelligence with the Russians and compromising its source, reflect either ignorance or disrespect, and either is very problematic. Certainly the whole episode with the firing of Jim Comey, a distinguished public servant, apart from the egregious, inexcusable manner in which it was conducted, reflect complete disregard for the independence and autonomy of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, our premiere law enforcement organisation.

I’m very interested to see what happens with Jim Comey’s hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee and what he — I think it will be very significant to see both what he says and what he is asked about and doesn’t respond to.

As I have often said, it is absolutely crucial for the United States, and for that matter for the world, for this presidency, for the Republicans, for the Democrats, and for our nation at large, that we get to the bottom of this. Is there a smoking gun with all the smoke? And I don’t know the answer to that.