Former DNI James Clapper: Mike Pompeo Is ‘the Moth That Flies Too Close to the Hot Candle’

Former DNI James Clapper: Mike Pompeo Is ‘the Moth That Flies Too Close to the Hot Candle’

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said he feels sorry for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Speaking to CNN’s John Berman, Clapper said that Pompeo’s behavior is just evidence of what happens to officials who get close to President Donald Trump.

Berman asked Clapper about Pompeo’s answers to questions about Trump’s call with the Ukrainian president. At a press conference in Italy on Wednesday, he dodged the issue a second time.

“John, to be honest, I kind of feel bad for Secretary Pompeo who’s a graduate of the United States military academy at West Point, which instils in graduates and the cadets, and then when they graduate, duty on the country,” Clapper said.

“And just a reminder, I think, of people that are in the Trump orb [sic] is not unlike the moth that flies too close to the hot candle,” he said.

“And this is — of course, the two answers are going to be on highlight films now for some time to come. I would note that the question at the press conference that he had in Italy, he didn’t address at all whether he thought that what went on and what transpired during that phone call was appropriate or not.”

Berman asked Clapper what Pompeo might be trying to hide by dodging questions.

“I don’t know. I’m not a mind reader,” Clapper said. “But I think there was perhaps, a certain amount of guilt pangs, I think … I’m sure he understood what was going on where the President was trying to muscle another head of state to do his bidding to advance his political fortunes, and by holding hostage the military assistance that the Congress had long ago voted on and appropriated. I think he knew all that.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Senior Editor and Political News Writer.