CNN's Jake Tapper Repeatedly Challenges Trump Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn's Evidence-Free Accusations About Clinton's Emails

Tapper: “But You Don't Have Any Evidence That Happened”

From the February 12 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:

Video file

JAKE TAPPER (HOST): And now a former top intelligence official under President Obama is saying Clinton needs to step down and stop running for president until the FBI clears her. Joining me now is that top intelligence official, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, retired. Sir, good to see you again. Before I ask you about your call for her to step aside for a second, it's been reported that you're advising Donald Trump, is that true?

LT. GEN. MICHAEL FLYNN: I am advising any candidate that has asked me for advice on a range of issues, national security, foreign policy. But he is one of the candidates that I have advised. All the others that I have spoken to, you know, I've basically let them know I'm open to providing advice to anybody that asks.

[ ... ]

TAPPER: Now we don't know what the FBI is going to turn up or the state department in their investigation - we don't know what the conclusion is going to be. Why call for Hillary Clinton to step out of the race for the time being?

FLYNN: You know, I feel very strongly about this, number one. There's really two reasons why I believe this. Number one, the severity of the leaks of the classified material, so this Special Access Program, the Top Secret, just the incredible level of classification that has been leaked through the use of a private server.

TAPPER: What do you mean by leaked?

FLYNN: I mean leaked in terms of just being passed on a public -

TAPPER: You don't mean getting out to the public, but you mean on her -

FLYNN: It's in the public now. It's in the public domain now because it was on a private server that's available to China, Russia and now what we're seeing in the open domain. So that severity -

TAPPER: Just to clarify, you don't have any evidence that the Chinese or the Russians hacked her server. 

FLYNN: No, but we know the kinds of targets that they go after on a routine basis. You know, I could give you an hour's worth of targets that we know that they have already hit that have been very publicly discussed. From the Joint Staff to Central Command to the Army, they have hit a bunch of these things. So Hillary Clinton as the secretary of state is a target of those two adversaries. 

TAPPER: But no evidence yet. 


TAPPER: She and her supporters say this is an issue of overclassification, these are things that are classified now, but were not at the time or, and you know this - 

FLYNN: Yeah, sure.

TAPPER: It's part of this tug of war over, for instance, if I were to e-mail -- if I were an intelligence official and I were to e-mail a Wikileak that was published in The New York Times, that is Top Secret even if it was in The New York Times

FLYNN: Over-classification or not, if it's classified, it's classified. And she knows better. She knew better in the roles that she has had both as a senator, both as a -- even back when she's married to the president of the United States and she's going to have privileged information in that regard, not only as the secretary of state which is part of the National Security Council, so she should know better. This over-classification excuse is not an excuse. If it's classified, it's classified. 

TAPPER: Right. You said in your interview with The Daily Caller that Clinton or someone working for Clinton transferred a quote Special Access Program document off a classified server. Now our understanding is that the classified and unclassified computer systems are completely separate, that you can theoretically take information off the classified server and pass it on but not the actual document itself. Do you have any evidence someone actually took something off the classified server and sent it on the unclassified one? 

FLYNN: Only from what I have seen in the news reporting about this particular case. But the issue is if you are going to have S.A.P. Or Special Access Program material on a private -- on your blackberry or your iPhone, somebody has to physically take that information off of a highly classified system physically and put it onto that unclassified public device.

TAPPER: But you don't have evidence that that happened. 


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