After testifying under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee at hearings into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia earlier in the day, counter-terrorism expert and former FBI agent Clint Watts hit the cable news circuit Thursday evening where he challenged the President’s loyalties.
In a riveting interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Watts expressed his fear that the President no longer had America’s best interests in mind.
“…If I say things that the Trump administration doesn’t like or that counter to Putin, I’m not sure it’s not Trump first, Russia second and the rest of America third,”
Watts delivered gripping testimony earlier in the day at the Senate Intelligence Committee’s first open hearings on Trump’s ties to Russia.
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) asked Mr. Watts why he thought Vladimir Putin intervened in the 2016 presidential election at a significantly deeper level than any previous election. His answer silenced the Senate chamber.
“The answer is very simple, and it’s what nobody is really saying in this room. Part of the reason active measures have worked in this U.S. election is because the Commander-in-Chief has used Russian active measures at times, against his opponents.”
In other words, Russia hasn’t successfully sabotaged an American election before because no presidential candidate had been willing to embrace their tactics or serve as a mouthpiece for their massive misinformation campaign.
No candidate, that is, until the 2016 Republican nominee for President, Donald Trump.
Mr. Watts fears he may pay a price for his testimony, and he’s not just referring to Russia.
“I’m not confident right now that the U.S. government would actually come to bat for me. I’ve seen President Trump call for Russia to leak emails against a political opponent, I’ve seen him discredit the U.S. intelligence community to cite conspiracies that he’s seen on his Twitter feed.”
When an expert witness, testifying to expose a foreign adversary’s plot to undermine our democratic institutions, is uncertain he has the protection of the leader of those institutions he’s trying to protect, you know that leader is morally bankrupt.
You can see Mr. Watts’ full interview below.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.