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Clapper, who just last month startled lawmakers when he claimed during a hearing that the Muslim Brotherhood is "secular," made the comments about Russia and China during an exchange with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. He was in the midst of testifying about global security threats when Manchin asked which country represents the biggest "mortal threat" to the United States.
Russia and China, Clapper answered.
At that point, Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., broke in to say he was "really kind of taken aback" by the answer. Levin said North Korea and Iran are the first nations that come to his mind, not Russia and China.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a prominent Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Thursday that President Obama should replace General James Clapper, director of National Intelligence (DNI), after Clapper said that Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi "will prevail" eventually over the armed rebellion in his nation
With respect to Clapper's comments regarding Qaddafi, Graham said, "Some of his analysis could prove to be accurate, but it should not have been made in such a public forum. If he felt the need to say what he did, then they should have moved into closed session." He added that these comments should be the "final straw" for Clapper.