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

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.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

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


Support our journalism

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


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.