James Clapper Suggests Mueller Was a ‘Figurehead,’ Didn’t Write Report

US Director for National Intelligence James Clapper (L) speaks with FBI Director Robert Mueller at the launch of the strategy to combat transnational organized crime at the White House in Washington on July 25, 2011. The United States Monday unveiled a series of sanctions aimed at cracking down on international …
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, said on Thursday that former special counsel Robert Mueller may have only been a “figurehead” of the now-debunked investigation into alleged collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia.

Clapper made the remarks in an interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar, who said Mueller appeared to lack “command” over the special counsel office’s findings in his testimony before the House Judiciary and House Intelligence committees on Wednesday.

“I think his role [as] a special prosecutor was more of a CEO, where he oversaw the operations, but did not engage in interrogating witnesses or actually writing the report,” said Clapper.

Mueller’s doddering testimony stunned political observers across the political aisle, raising questions about his capacities as an investigator. David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist on both of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, remarked Mueller was not as “sharp” as he used to be.

“This is delicate to say, but Mueller, whom I deeply respect, has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years,” he tweeted. “And he does not appear as sharp as he was then.”

The longtime Deep Stater’s suggestion raises questions as to who authored the 448-page report. According to the New York Times, Mueller, during the course of the over two-year-long probe, “seemed to cede substantial responsibility to his top deputies, including Aaron Zebley, who managed day-to-day operations and often reported on the investigation’s progress up the chain in the Justice Department.” The Times further reported that Mueller took part in negotiations with the White House “less and less” as the probe dragged on. Zebley sat by Mueller’s side for the former special counsel testimony. He previously represented the IT aide that smashed Hillary Clinton’s Blackberry phones while under a subpoena.

Andrew Weissmann, known as Mueller’s “pitbull,’ is also believed to play a larger role in the probe.

Weissmann attended Clinton’s 2016 election-night in New York City and praised acting Attorney General Sally Yates for refusing to enforce President Trump’s travel ban on countries with terror concerns.

“I was telling our guys early on, right after he started, that no question — his staff has been telling him if you mention the report, he’s going to ask which volume, which page — he’s going to take up as much of your five minutes as he can — taking his time, ‘gee, what was that,'” Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said of Mueller’s testimony on the Fox News Channel Wednesday.

“If Weissmann was left to his own purposes he would’ve gone on and on,” the Texas Republican added. “It’s also clear from the hearing today that Weissmann was the driving force behind all this.”

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