Former intelligence director James Clapper is writing a book
NEW YORK (AP) — James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence who has clashed with President Donald Trump, has a book deal.
Viking told The Associated Press on Thursday that Clapper, 76, will write about his 6 1/2 years as head of National Intelligence during President Barack Obama’s administration and his long career in military and government service. The book is currently untitled and scheduled for 2018.
Clapper, who stepped down at the end of Obama’s second term, will cover everything from the killing of Osama bin Laden to the intelligence documents leaked by Edward Snowden. According to Viking, Clapper also will give “the truth” about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump has disputed such stories and said that Clapper agrees with his assertion that the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Clapper has said he was not in a position to know about collusion, but believes the Russians did attempt to influence the campaign, a view widely held in the intelligence community.
He has also criticized the president for firing FBI Director James Comey and said that democratic institutions were “under assault” by Trump. Clapper said in a statement Thursday that he will offer a “warts and all” account of his experiences and that friends had urged him to tell his story. Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House, said in its announcement that Clapper will address such issues as transparency in government and the ethics of intelligence gathering and will “counter the narrative about surveillance of American citizens.”
Clapper was strongly criticized after Snowden’s leaks contradicted his Congressional testimony in 2013 that the National Security Agency was not “wittingly” involved in gathering data on millions of Americans. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., later said that Clapper had engaged in “a deliberate decision to lie to the American people about what their government was doing.” Clapper has called his comments “clearly erroneous,” while also saying he did not think the question could be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.”
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner by saying ‘No,’” he told MSNBC after the Snowden documents came out.
Financial terms for his book were not disclosed. As is standard for former intelligence officials, his manuscript will be vetted by the government before publication to check for classified material.