Diane Sawyer Stumps Director of National Intelligence

DNI Clapper Looks Stumped by ABC’s Sawyer

By Michael D. Shear | NYTimes.com

Clapper is the fourth DNI since the office was created five years ago on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

Gen. James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, is the person charged with coordinating what the nation knows about terrorism and national security.

But Mr. Clapper appeared to know less than even the casual television viewer during an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, the anchor of World News Tonight.

Hours earlier, reports flooded cable news shows about arrests of 12 people in London suspected of being part of a potential terrorist plot. In the interview, Ms. Sawyer turned to Mr. Clapper and made an indirect reference to the still-developing incident.

“First of all, London,” she said. “How serious is it? Any implication that it was coming here? Director Clapper?”

The look on Mr. Clapper’s face, and his temporary silence, suggested that he had no idea what she was talking about. He hesitated before saying, “London?”

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