Former national security director claims President Trump is eroding America’s system of checks and balances

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- The former Director of National Intelligence says U.S. institutions are "under assault," after a tumultuous week in Washington.

James Clapper, the director under former President Obama, says he feels in many ways that U.S. institutions are under attack. He told CNN's Jake Tapper this morning, "Both externally-- and that's the big news here is the Russian interference in our election system-- and I think as well our institutions are under assault internally."

Tapper questioned, "Internally from our president?" Clapper retorted, "Exactly."

Clapper says he feels the government's system of checks and balances is "eroding." And he put much of the blame on President Trump.

The criticism comes after a week of backlash over the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey, a firing that U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley defended this morning on "Meet the Press." Haley explained, "The president is the CEO of the country. He can hire and fire whoever he wants. That's his right. Whether you agree with it or not, it's the truth."

President Trump says he might choose his replacement for Comey before leaving for his first overseas trip as President on Friday. Eight people reportedly interviewed for the job yesterday.

And on the question of Russian interference in the U.S. election, today on "Meet the Press" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he has no doubt it happened. However, he said he doesn't think it had any effect on the outcome of the election. Tillerson also described the relationship between the U.S. and Russia as "at an all time low" since the end of the Cold War.