Ex-spy chief James Clapper fears President Trump's travel ban as Muslim extremist 'recruiting tool'

Former director of national intelligence James Clapper spoke out on President Trump's travel ban on Friday, saying he fears the order could create a "recruiting tool" for extremists.

In his first interview since leaving office, The Obama-era official told CNN's Jim Sciutto he is unaware of any intelligence that would prove the need for Trump's executive order banning travel for nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries.

"I don't — we in the [intelligence community] were aware of any extraordinary threats that we were't already dealing with," Clapper told CNN on Friday.

Clapper also said Trump's order could damage America's longterm ability to negotiate and maintain stable working relationships on a global scale.

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"I do worry about those countries in question with whom we do deal and who are reliable partners," Clapper said. "I also worry about this creating a recruiting tool for the extremists ... that they will point to this proof that there is, in fact, a war on all Muslims."

The president's ordered travel ban was rejected on Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The three-judge panel -- including Judges Richard R. Clifton, William Canby and Michelle T. Friedland -- ruled in favor of maintaining a country-wide restraining order against Trump's presidential action.

The president responded to the court ruling with a "SEE YOU IN COURT" tweet.

Clapper also emphatically expressed comfort with the vetting procedures that were in place before Trump signed his executive order.

"We are using, I think, some very rigorous vetting processes which we constantly improved on," said Clapper.

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