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Trump tweets cryptically about James Clapper

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 23: U.S. President Donald J. Trump arrives at the The White House on August 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump returned to Washington after hosting a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, and attending a veteran's convention in Reno, Nevada.

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President Trump is hitting back at former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, tweeting Thursday morning that Clapper, "who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?"

In an interview on CNN Wednesday, Clapper voiced his concern about President Trump's access to nuclear codes, following Mr. Trump's campaign-style rally in Arizona. He said it's "pretty damn scary" that there's little to stop the president, if "in a fit of pique," he decides to "do something about Kim Jong Un," the North Korean leader.

"I really question his ability to be -- his fitness to be -- in this office, and I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it," Clapper added.

Mr. Trump, in his tweet, alluded to Clapper's March 2013 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, when he was asked by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?" 

"No, sir," Clapper testified at the time, adding "not wittingly."

However, documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden a couple of months later revealed that in fact, the U.S. was collecting Americans' phone and internet records.

As for the "beautiful letter to me" mentioned in the president's tweet, it's not clear what correspondence from Clapper Mr. Trump has in mind.

Clapper has been an outspoken critic of the administration, raising his concerns of the Trump White House amid the investigations into Trump campaign associates' possible ties to the Russian government. 

And at a press event in Australia in June, Clapper said that the Watergate scandal that brought down former President Richard Nixon "pales" in comparison with allegations that President Trump's election campaign colluded with Russians.