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Clapper says American 'institutions are under assault' by Trump

James Clapper on CNN

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Sunday cast President Trump as a threat to the United States' system of constitutional governance while speaking with CNN's Jake Tapper.

"I think in many ways our institutions are under assault both externally — and that's the big news here is the Russian interference in our election system — and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally," Clapper said in a State of the Union interview. When Tapper sought to clarify if the president is the internal threat to which Clapper was referring, he replied, "Exactly."

"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," Clapper explained. "I feel as though that is under assault and is eroding." Watch an excerpt of his comments below. Bonnie Kristian