Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) on Monday seemingly found a sneaky way to get former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to talk about the revelation that Huma Abedin forwarded classified Hillary Clinton emails to Anthony Weiner.
Cruz laid out a “hypothetical” situation and asked Clapper what would happen if someone under his command was found to have forwarded classified information to an unauthorized individual.
The exchange was particularly uncomfortable because everyone in the room — and everyone watching at home — knew exactly what Cruz was referring to.
“What would you do at the DNI if you discovered that an employee of yours had forwarded hundreds or even thousands of emails to a non-government individual, their spouse, on a non-government computer?” Cruz asked.Eric Thayer/Getty Images
“Well, I’m not an investigatory or prosecutorial element, but if I were aware of it, I would certainly make known to the appropriate officials that that was going on,” Clapper responded.
When asked if such behavior would be considered “ordinary,” Clapper replied, “Hopefully not.”
Cruz continued to push Clapper on the issue, asking him what concerns it would raise for him.
“It raises all kinds of potential security concerns,” Clapper said. “Again, depending on the content of the email, what the intent was, there’s a whole bunch of variables here that would have to be considered. But potentially, again, this is a hypothetical scenario, it could be quite concerning.”Eric Thayer/Getty Images
Finally, Cruz asked what would happen if he made a referral concerning an employee who was forwarding emails to an unauthorized individual.
“Whatever the potential transgression was, if there was sufficient evidence of a compromise, we would file a crimes report,” Clapper added. “That’s the standard procedure we use when there’s a potential for investigating and prosecuting someone.”
Clapper appeared before a Senate subcommittee on Monday alongside former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to discuss Michael Flynn and allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.