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Entries in James Clapper (2)

Thursday
Mar102011

Sr. Administration Official: Obama Does NOT Think Gadhafi Will Prevail

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- “The President does not think that Gadhafi will prevail,” a senior administration official says, distancing the president from comments made by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Thursday afternoon.

President Obama “believes that Gadhafi has lost the legitimacy to lead and should leave, and that history is on the side of the Libyan people and their call for change,” the official says.

Former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke tells ABC News that there are “actually a lot of analysts who agree with General Clapper that there is a chance, perhaps even a probability, that Gadhafi will prevail.”

As for Clapper’s assertion that China and Russia pose a threat to the U.S., Clarke says, “General Clapper, who is a military man after all, and has 30 years-plus in the military, probably heard the question in terms of what countries in the world can really threaten the United States in a substantial way. And the answer to that is there are really only two countries in the world who have nuclear missiles that can hit the United States, and can do severe damage to the United States.”

That said, Clarke said “General Clapper has not spent a lot of time testifying before congressional committees. He doesn’t think politically. He doesn’t think in terms of media. He’s an intelligence officer who thinks in terms of running an intelligence organization. And turns out you need both skills because Congress will kill you if you’re not a good witness. Congress will kill you if you make a mistake. They look for weaknesses and when you make one mistake they’re going to be looking for another one.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Friday
Feb112011

Donald Rumsfeld: US Response to Egypt 'Confusing'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized the Obama administration’s response to the crisis in Egypt Friday, calling it “confusing” and telling ABC News the United States’ diplomatic effort “certainly doesn’t give one confidence.”

In a radio interview, Rumsfeld was particularly critical of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s description of the Muslim Brootherhood as a “largely secular” during a House Intelligence Committee testimony Thursday that Clapper's office later had to clarify. 

“That is not something that is subject to debate,” Rumsfeld said of Clapper’s contention.   “That is something that we know a great deal about.”

Rumsfeld, however, did not fault CIA director Leon Panetta for pointing to news reports, suggesting during his testimony there was a “strong likelihood” that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would step down Thursday. 

“People who think they know the answer and publicly announce what they believe to be the case are often wrong,” Rumsfeld said, saying that the outcome of a volatile situation is not always possible to predict.

But the former defense secretary said official statements from Washington urging Mubarak to step aside have differed from what the administration’s special envoy, Frank Wisner, had been saying in Cairo.   This, Rumsfeld said, has proven to be “confusing.” 

“It certainly doesn’t give one confidence,” the former secretary said of the administration’s public steps.

“One doesn’t know precisely what’s taking place with private diplomacy -- what’s really most effective -- but certainly the public diplomacy has been somewhat confusing.”

Rumsfeld, who has known Mubarak for decades, responded carefully when asked whether he is a dictator.

“He clearly has perpetuated himself in office.   He clearly has hoped that his son would succeed him.   There have been a number of things that have inhibited freer political systems,” Rumsfeld said of the Egyptian president, stopping short of offering any further criticism of Mubarak.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio