PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 22:  U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to a crowd of supporters at the Phoenix Convention Center during a rally on August 22, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. An earlier statement by the president that he was considering a pardon for Joe Arpaio,, the former sheriff of Maricopa County who was convicted of criminal contempt of court for defying a court order in a case involving racial profiling, has angered Latinos and immigrant rights advocates.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Clapper: Difficult to be critical of President
01:07 - Source: CNN

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Clapper emphasized he was speaking as a private citizen

Clapper questions Trump's "fitness" to hold the presidency following Trump's divisive campaign rally in Arizona

Washington CNN  — 

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper reiterated his concern about President Donald Trump’s ability to effectively lead the country on Wednesday night.

“What caused concern is this … Jekyll-Hyde business where he’ll make a scripted teleprompter speech, which is good, and then turn around and negate it by sort of, unbridled, unleashed, unchaperoned Trump. And that to me – that pattern – is very disturbing,” Clapper told Jim Sciutto in an interview on CNN’s “Erin Burnett OutFront.”

Clapper emphasized he was speaking as a private citizen and not as a member of the intelligence community.

CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.

Clapper – a CNN national security analyst – had questioned Trump’s “fitness” to hold the office of the President less than 24 hours earlier. That came during a “CNN Tonight” appearance early Wednesday, following Trump’s divisive campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday night.

“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 told CNN’s Don Lemon on Wednesday morning after the rally had ended.

On Monday, Trump portrayed a more polished version of himself as he announced the United States’ new strategy for Afghanistan. But his tone shifted when he spoke to a crowd of supporters Tuesday night at the Phoenix campaign rally, where he accused the media of misrepresenting him in its coverage, among other things.

Wednesday, Trump was more reserved in a speech at the American Legion in Reno, Nevada, where he called for healing and unity.

Clapper said, “I cannot make any comment about his mental health, his sanity or any of that sort of thing. All that I can comment on really is the behavior I’ve observed, and I find that worrisome.”