America’s Top Intelligence Official Has Submitted His Resignation

It’s been coming for a while.

Director of National Intelligence James ClapperAndrew Harnik/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the highest-ranking intelligence official in the United States, has submitted his resignation.

Clapper, an Air Force veteran who ran individual intelligence agencies under both Presidents Bush, told the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday that he has submitted his letter of resignation, saying it “felt pretty good.” He has long said he planned to step down at the end of the Obama administration.

NPR reported that Clapper’s resignation will take effect on Inauguration Day. Clapper’s office told the broadcaster that the decision was “not a move designed to register protest or lack of confidence in the incoming administration.”

But one element to Donald Trump’s win may have made Clapper’s decision even easier: Clapper helped force out retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, a close Trump ally who may become the next national security adviser, as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.

Clapper was often a target for privacy and civil liberties groups fighting against the government’s mass surveillance programs. But given Trump’s messy transition and collection of hardline security advisers, Robyn Greene, a policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, suggested that Clapper’s experience and competence will be missed.

 

 

 

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

MOTHER JONES NEEDS YOUR HELP

Straight to the point: Donations have been concerningly slow for our hugely important First $500,000 fundraising campaign. We urgently need your help, and a lot of help, over the next few weeks so we can pay for the one-of-a-kind journalism you get from us.

Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” where we lay out this wild moment and how we can keep charging hard for you. And please help if you can: $5, $50, or $500—every gift from every person truly matters right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate