If you were to ask high ranking officials in the United States, what their feelings are about former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, you would hear compliments about the man's honesty and integrity.
Clapper's appearance in Canberra comes before highly anticipated testimony later this week by Comey before the Senate intelligence committee.
NPR notes that "Trump reportedly asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the head of the National Security Agency, Adm. Mike Rogers, to state publicly that there was no collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign". Earlier Wednesday, Trump announced via Twitter that he will nominate Christopher A. Wray, a former assistant attorney-general under President George W. Bush, to succeed Comey.
He is expected to dispute the president's claim that he told the former reality television star multiple times that he was not under investigation by the FBI. Is there a smoking gun with all the smoke?
"I will say that, in my 50-plus years in the intel business, I don't know of a time where we have shared more pervasively and more thoroughly than we do today and it would be a shame if that were jeopardised or set back".
"The Russians are not our friends", Clapper said, adding that Trump had also expressed to him that he wanted he wanted good relations with the Russian government. Clapper told the Australian press, "I lived through Watergate. That is just not gonna happen".
The poll comes a day before Comey's highly anticipated testimony before the Senate, during which he will answer questions about reports that Trump tried to pressure him to drop an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Clapper also sharply condemned a speech Trump gave before the memorial wall in Central Intelligence Agency headquarters that commemorates employees killed in the line of duty.
Clapper later went on to say that he didn't understand why the Trump administration wasn't seemingly more concerned about the harm that Russia's interference in elections posed to western democracies.
Hopefully, Clapper will be asked to clarify his remarks.
But he urged Australia to "keep on keeping on" and make decisions based on its national interest.
The intelligence had come from officials in Israel and was considered so sensitive that US officials did not widely share it within the USA government or other state allies, according to The New York Times.
Clapper also revealed that Trump asked him during a phone call on January 11 to publicly "refute" a report from the intelligence community that Russian Federation had meddled in the election.