Fox News’ analyst Brit Hume criticized former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s comments about Russian election interference aiding the Trump campaign, calling them “disturbingly silly.”
“Once considered a serious intelligence analyst”
Hume made his scathing comments during Martha MacCallum’s show on Fox News Wednesday.
“I think he has a personal antipathy towards Donald Trump shared widely among certain intelligence professionals,” Hume said, “certainly John Brennan has that feeling and one can imagine that [former FBI Director] James Comey does as well, so there’s that motivation, but I think you have to look carefully at what Clapper has said.”
“He is now claiming as you mentioned to [Rep.] Eric Swalwell [D-Calif.], that the Russians were decisive in the election,” Hume continued. “I worry about a man who was once considered a serious intelligence analyst reaching that conclusion because you know all the deep dives that have been done into what the Russians did during the election have indicated, yeah they tried, but what they spent and what they did was utterly dwarfed by all the other efforts, all the other spending, all the other advertising, all the other messaging, all the other campaigning that was done on both sides of that campaign.”
“It seems unbelievable that someone could come to the conclusion that what the Russians did, as big as, not as big as they wanted it to be perhaps,” Hume said, “but they thought it was big, but it was actually minuscule, that it could have made a difference. It’s just not plausible.”
“That’s disturbingly silly.”
MacCallum quoted from Clapper’s book where he concluded that the Russian efforts to influence the election had caused a change in the outcome.
“The problem with saying you know something like that is,” Hume responded, “that first of all he presents no evidence, he just calls it ‘massive.’ He presents no evidence. He oughta know how utterly vast the undertakings are in a presidential campaign, how you can’t ever know for sure what is going on in the minds of countless voters as they make up their minds how to vote.”
“It’s just not a circumstance,” he added, “now look, if there had been a huge issue involving Russia that had been central to the campaign and had been argued throughout and the Russians had pulled some kind of an intelligence stunt where they made it appear that the facts were one way and the facts were the other, you could kinda make that argument, but not on this evidence. That’s, that’s disturbingly silly.”
“It’s just an imponderable.”
MacCallum added that it didn’t appear that Clapper offered enough evidence to support the claims he was making.
“Think about this, Martha,” Hume replied, “he even says in the course of the things you cited, something about how a lot of the messages that were coming out of the Trump campaign were the ones that the Russians were promoting right? So how in the world would you ever be able to tell which of those messages if they were mirrored by the Trump campaign and all of its multiple utterances, are the ones that people believed and not the ones by the Russians, or vice versa? It’s just an imponderable.”
“I mean, it’s an extravagant claim,” Hume concluded, “one well beyond the knowledge of an intelligence officer, and he basically cites no evidence for it. This is a men, remember Martha, who has had his troubles shaking hands with the truth in the past as has been noted.”
Here’s the Fox News video of Hume’s scathing critique:
Clapper made headlines when he said in his book that the Russians absolutely effected the outcome of the election, a claim that U.S. intelligence agencies have declined to support directly.