CNN was honored with a prestigious journalism award on Saturday night’s Correspondents Dinner for their role in making public a briefing by intelligence officials to then President-elect Donald Trump. CNN reported the briefing “included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Trump,” which was allegedly leaked by newly hired CNN contributor, James Clapper, reports Sara Carter.

Clapper was the Director of National Intelligence for the Obama administration who has been alleged to have leaked classified information to the news organization that has now hired him as a political analyst. This kind of blatant pay-for-play kind of journalistic practices is now raising serious questions about the ethics of CNN’s reporting.

Reporters Jake Tapper, Jim Sciutto, Evan Perez and Carl Bernstein won the Merriman Smith Award for their broadcast work and reporting on the dossier. But now Clapper is being accused of leaking the information to CNN after fired FBI Director James Comey has it to him after his private briefing wit Trump in January 2017.

News agencies and reporters never disclose their sources, it would be unethical, but isn’t it also unethical to pay sources for information or give sources jobs as analysts for your news outlet after they’ve been illegally leaking classified information?

The dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele through cut-out Fusion GPS, was also being paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee, as first reported by The Washington Post. And Clapper, Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan have been very vocal and partisan against the Trump administration, despite the fact that they are former senior intelligence officials of the United States.

Brennan, who is now a paid analyst for MSNBC, candidly expresses his anti-Trump opinions in public venues and continues to drop insults along with vague and ominous premonitions about the President, while refusing to show any evidence that the Russian’s possess blackmail material or that the Trump campaign was “colluding” with the Russians to win the presidency.

The FBI, CIA, DNI, among other intelligence agencies, are supposed to work to protect the  American people in a non-partisan matter, and current U.S. intelligence officials say the direction these former officials have taken is dangerous.

Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom criticized Brennan and Clapper in an interview Sunday on Fox News Sunday Morning Features with Maria Bartiromo saying there is  “no doubt there is a cabal – to diminish his (Trump’s) ability to manage the country.

Kallstrom said people in the United States should be concerned and react to this, “this is third world country stuff.”

Many current and former U.S. intelligence officials agree.

“Clapper was already in bed with CNN months before he was hired and while he was the DNI,” said a current U.S. intelligence official. “It’s unbelievable that a senior official would leak this type of disinformation to destroy an incoming president. If it would have been anyone else, he’d be prosecuted. Instead, they get a high paid position to the company they leaked to and retain their security clearance.  Banana Republic?”

Now Sara Carter wants to know if these two highly partisan intelligence officials still have security clearances for national security secrets and information. If so, that needs to end immediately for the risk of top secret information being leaked to the press, especially to one as biased like CNN is dangerous for American security.

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BY Isabelle Weeks

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I am a staff writer for DC Statesman and like to report on current events happening in the Trump administration as well as the political world.