Donald Trump Threatens James Clapper Over the Possibility of “Beautiful” Letter

The former director of national intelligence publicly questioned Trump’s fitness for office.

Chris Kleponis/ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

President Donald Trump appeared to threaten James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, on Thursday with a tweet suggesting he once received a flattering letter written by Clapper, who had earlier this week questioned Trump’s fitness for office.

The attack on Clapper’s credibility follows his appearance on CNN, where he condemned Trump’s volatile rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Monday. The former intelligence chief also expressed concern over Trump’s control over the country’s nuclear codes—access Clapper described as “pretty damn scary.”

Trump has used Twitter to fire off similar threats against his opponents—instances that have further complicated the president’s legal troubles. In May, shortly after he fired James Comey as FBI director, Trump implied he possessed secret recordings of their conversations inside the White House. Prior to that, Trump made an explosive—and false—claim that during the 2016 election, Barack Obama had illegally ordered a wiretap of his campaign at Trump Tower. 

The president has refused to correct or apologize for either claim.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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