California congressman Eric Swalwell has refused to say whether he had a sexual relationship with a Chinese honeytrap spy because it is ‘classified’ as he blames President Trump for the revelations.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr described him as a ‘threat to national security’.
It was reported by Axios on Monday that a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christina Fang – allegedly an operative for China’s Ministry of State Security – targeted a group of Bay Area Democrats – including the congressman.
Swalwell had immediately cut off ties with her in 2015 when U.S. intelligence officials briefed him on their security concerns.
The congressman said said he first became aware that Axios was looking into Fang’s activities in July 2019, around the time he was ending his brief bid for the Democratic presidential nomination – during which he was a strong critic of the president.
‘I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him,’ Swalwell said in an interview with Politico on Tuesday, questioning the timing of the revelations.
Eric Swalwell’s office refuses to say whether he had a sexual relationship with Christine Fang
Fang was in the United States from 2011 to 2015 and got close to Swalwell and several others
While Fang interacted with other current members of the House – including Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), as well as other promising politicians – Swalwell believes the information was leaked to target him.
‘The timing feels like that should be looked at,’ he said. ‘What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do.
‘But if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone.’
Politico reported that Swalwell refused to answer questions on his relationship with Fang, but did say that he was not concerned that the controversy would jeopardize his seat on the House Intelligence Committee.
‘As the story referenced, this goes back to the beginning of the last decade, and it’s something that congressional leadership knew about it.’
Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night said his team had asked Swalwell’s office whether the reports of a sexual relationship with Christine Fang were true, but his office declined to comment, citing national security.
Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night claimed that U.S. intelligence agencies believe that there was a sexual relationship between Eric Swalwell and the Chinese honeytrap spy, Christine Fang
Carlson’s claim echoed that of Donald Trump Jr on Monday, who repeated his accusations on Tuesday night.
Trump Jr also told Carlson’s show that Swalwell was a threat to national security.
Swalwell, 40, is the most high-profile figure to be swept up in the bombshell story of Fang, who between 2011 and 2015 targeted rising political stars in the Bay Area and across the country who seemed destined for nationally important roles.
Swalwell is currently a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and played a high-profile role in the impeachment of Donald Trump.
‘U.S. intelligence officials believe that Fang had a sexual relationship with Eric Swalwell,’ said Carlson on Tuesday night.
‘We asked Swalwell’s office about that directly today.
‘His staff replied by saying that they could not comment whether Swalwell had a sexual relationship with Fang, because that information might be, quote, classified.’
He described Fang as being Swalwell’s ‘companion’ who helped fundraise for him, and secure the support of the Asian American community in his constituency.
Swalwell was single at the time of Fang’s mission in the United States, and did not marry his wife Brittany until 2016.
Fang met Swalwell in 2012, when her cover was a student in the Bay Area and became involved in activism and politics, moving on to fundraise.
Fang and Swalwell were frequently together, with her serving as a fundraiser for him
Donald Trump Jr discussed Swalwell’s involvement and other political issued with Carlson
Swalwell’s office gave a similarly opaque answer when asked on Monday by Axios – which spent a year investigating Fang – about his relationship with her.
Axios’ story does not report any romantic or personal relationship between Swalwell and the woman – although it does say U.S. investigators discovered her having sexual relationships with two unidentified mayors from the Midwest while U.S. authorities were monitoring her.
‘Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person – whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn’t seen in nearly six years – to the FBI.
‘To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.’
Intelligence agencies were so concerned about Fang’s involvement in Swalwell’s office that they organized a briefing for Swalwell, and he severed ties with her immediately.
She vanished not long after, presumably back to China.
Swalwell is pictured with Fang at one of their numerous social engagements
Trump Jr told Carlson’s show Tuesday: ‘I appreciate you calling out Eric Swalwell as somebody who was probably the number two recipient of these tinfoil hat brigade attacks about Russia for years.’
He went on to point out that Swalwell called him a traitor and added: ‘I find it very ironic that he was perhaps sleeping with a Chinese spy, certainly one that had infiltrated his inner circle.
‘And what I find even scarier is that you are one of the few people as usual calling balls and strikes and calling this sort of stuff out while the rest of the media remains silent.
‘We shouldn’t be surprised that the media being silent on this issue which is truly a national security threat while this man sits on the House Intelligence Committee.’
Trump Jr. had tweeted about the story repeatedly Tuesday and said, without providing evidence, that Swalwell was ‘sleeping’ with the alleged spy.
‘So Rep Swalwell who spent years saying I was an agent of Russia was literally sleeping with a Chinese spy at the time. You can’t make this stuff up. How can this compromised individual/moron continue to sit on an intelligence committee?’ he asked.
Swalwell is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and a fierce critic of Trump’s
Fang targeted rising political stars in the Bay Area using her cover as a student
He was referencing Swalwell’s repeated probing into the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The story mentions nothing about Swalwell’s sex life, although it features images of him with Fang, also identified as Christine Fang, at events.
Axios does provide stunning disclosures that an ‘older’ Midwest mayor from an ‘obscure city’ referred to Fang as his ‘girlfriend’ at a 2014 conference, information attributed to Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong.
It also cited a current U.S. official saying Fang had a sexual encounter with an Ohio mayor in a car while it was under FBI surveillance.
There was more at play than romantic chemistry with the unidentified mayor.
Asked why Fang was interested in the mayor, he said she wanted to improve her English, the official told the outlet.
Another Trump Jr. tweet featured Swalwell warning of the dangers of potential election interference, where he blasted the administration for ‘false equivalence’ between threats by China, Iran, and Russia – which interfered in 2016.
‘It’s all starting to make sense!!!’ quipped Trump Jr.
He also retweeted former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, a Trump loyalist who joined one press conference to press an election lawsuit this year, that singled out Swalwell.
‘It’s the democrat playbook to accuse others of doing all the things you’re actually doing. This should be no surprise anymore,’ he said in another tweet.