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James Clapper: Trump 'likes intelligence on a selective basis'

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he wasn't surprised President Trump's views of the intelligence community brightened after his departure. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Thursday he believes President Trump likes to intake intelligence reports on "a selective basis" and that his opinion of the intelligence community has improved because the "Nazis" have been removed from it.

Clapper made the comment on CNN in response to a clip of President Trump's expressing confidence in his intelligence community in regards to the North Korean threat, which stands in contrast to his spending much of his campaign bashing the community. Speaking to reporters in Bedminster, N.J., Trump singled out the current head of DNI, Dan Coats, new FBI Director Christopher Wray, and CIA Director Mike Pompeo, for compliments, while slamming Pompeo's predecessor, John Brennan.

Asked to comment, Clapper, who, like Brennan, served in the Obama administration, indicated that he wasn't surprised now that the two "principal Nazis" are gone.

"I think he likes intelligence on a selective basis," he began. "He seems to accept the intelligence on Korea or on Syria, on China, on other areas, on terrorism, but when it comes to Russia, not so much."

Clapper continued, saying he "honestly thought that his assessment of the intelligence community would improve once he got rid of the two Nazis, the two principal Nazis, meaning John Brennan and myself."

Trump tweeted in January, before the inauguration, to complain about what he viewed as bias against him by the intelligence community, making a reference to Nazi Germany, for its handling of the infamous Trump-Russia dossier alleging collusion, which had been reported on by the media.

"Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?" he said.

Clapper went on to say Thursday that he recognizes that Trump is "entitled to have his own team and his own leadership in charge of the intelligence community."

"And he has that," he added.