Former National Intelligence director James Clapper has described the US government as being
Former National Intelligence director James Clapper has described the US government as being "under assault” from Donald Trump. Pablo Martinez Monsivais

President 'attacking own govt'

A FORMER senior intelligence officer has claimed US institutions are "under assault” from Donald Trump and his administration.

James Clapper, who was Director of National Intelligence until January, said the system of government established by the so-called founding fathers, with its checks and balances, was not working properly.

"I think in many ways our institutions are under assault,” Mr Clapper told CNN's State of the Union on Sunday. "Both externally, and that's the big news here, is Russian interference in our election system. And I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”

Pressed as to whether he meant US institutions were under assault from President Trump, he replied: "Exactly.”

Speaking in the aftermath of Mr Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey and the slew of criticism it has triggered, Mr Clapper called on the other branches of the federal government to step up in their roles as a check on the executive.

"The founding fathers, in their genius, created a system of three co-equal branches of government and a built-in system of checks and balances,” he said.

"I feel as though that is under assault and is eroding.”



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