Donald Trump resumed his drum-beat attack Friday on what he has called ‘deep state spies’ in his administration, claiming that Democrats are splitting hairs in the semantics of determining whether the FBI used a ‘spy’ or an ‘informant’ to keep tabs on his presidential campaign.
‘The Democrats are now alluding to the the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party’s campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be,’ he tweeted.
‘But what about an “Informant” who is paid a fortune and who “sets up” way earlier than the Russian Hoax?’
The jab is a reference to Stefan Halper, a former Cambridge University professor who made contact with at least three Trump campaign advisors in 2016, seeking to learn how much they knew about Russia’s attempts to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and turn the election to Trump’s advantage.
President Donald Trump is back to arguing that the Obama administration sent a ‘spy’ to keep tabs on his campaign advisors
Trump tweeted Friday the suggestion that whether Democrats call Stefan Halper a ‘spy’ or an ‘informant,’ he has the right to be angry
Halper, a Cambridge University academic, approached at least three Trump advisers in 2016, probing them to learn what they knew about Russian hacking and election interference
Halper began his outreach to Carter Page, George Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis before the public first became aware of the Obama administration’s concern that the Kremlin might be trying to interfere in the election.
That, Trump first suggested a week ago, indicates that federal law enforcement agents sent him purposely to ferret out intelligence – not that his curiosity was a natural outgrowth of news reports.
The president also vented Friday, as he has done since mid-May, that the Obama administration put the Halper plan in motion out of a partisan desire to help Clinton beat him.
And in typicaly Trumpian style, he plunged a knife into the Democratic Party – and twisted it.
‘Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain?’ he asked. ‘And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!’
Trump twisted the knife Friday, seeming to enjoy reminding Hillary Clinton partisans that he beat her despite the Obama Justice Department interfering with his campaign
Trump also quoted author and pundit Mollie Hemingway, who appeared Thursday night on the Fox News Channel’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ program.
‘Everyone knows there was a Spy, and in fact the people who were involved in the Spying are admitting that there was a Spy…Widespread Spying involving multiple people,’ the president quoted Hemingway saying.
‘But the corrupt Mainstream Media hates this monster story!’
Hemingway fed Trump’s narrative about semantics, scoffing at the Justice Department’s claim ‘that because the government term is “human intelligence informant” or something like that, that therefore it’s not a spy.’
She said it’s ‘a stunning revelation, that this was happening under the previous administration.’
Carlson, though, fired back a jab that Trump didn’t repeat on his social media feeds.
Trump quoted author and pundit Mollie Hemingway on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ not mentioning that the host faulted him for allowing his intelligence agencies to keep the ‘spygate’ story alive
Hemingway said the spying is a ‘a stunning revelation, that this was happening under the previous administration’
‘These are agencies controlled by the Trump White House,’ he said. ‘So it’s not clear to me at all why we don’t know this, and why the committees in the Congress who have oversight over all of this don’t know.’
The president has branded the entire episode ‘Spygate,’ but has been more critical of the Obama administration than his own executive branch agencies that are now in control of it.
Representatives of the FBI and Justice Department and the director of national intelligence briefed members of Congress Thursday in a pair of classified sessions arranged by the White House, but Democrats emerged claiming they had seen nothing that would support Trump’s allegations.
Trump’s opponents have complained that he is attempting to undermine the year-old investigation into the Russian election meddling that benefited him.
‘Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a ‘spy’ in the Trump campaign, or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols,’ the Democrats said in a joint statement.