Trump: ‘Clapper has now admitted there was spying on my campaign’
President Trump on Thursday attacked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Twitter, rebuking the former intelligence chief for remarks he made on “The View” about surveillance of Trump’s campaign.
In a tweet, the president erroneously claimed that Clapper “admitted” to placing a spy on his campaign staff, but Clapper has only acknowledged that an FBI informant had contacted several members of Trump’s campaign as part of the investigation into Russia’s election meddling.
“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!” Trump tweeted.
Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018
Clapper has not confirmed that a “spy” was placed on Trump’s campaign team and highlighted on “The View” that an FBI informant was just trying to figure out if Russians were “infiltrating, trying to gain access.”
“They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence — which is what they do,” Clapper said Wednesday on the program.
“Well, why doesn’t he like that? He should be happy,” host Joy Behar said, referring to Trump.
“He should be,” Clapper responded.
The president has claimed repeatedly, without evidence, that the Obama administration placed a spy on his campaign staff with the intention of aiding his opponent, Hillary Clinton. In tweets, Trump stated that the informant “never” reported on potential Russian efforts to collude with his campaign.
“If the person placed very early into my campaign wasn’t a SPY put there by the previous Administration for political purposes, how come such a seemingly massive amount of money was paid for services rendered – many times higher than normal,” the president tweeted Tuesday night.
“Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia, because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!”
Trump responded to Clapper’s appearance on “The View” with a tweet saying that he was “not happy” and said, “Spying on a campaign would be illegal.”
Trump called for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the matter, an uncommon step for a sitting president.
Trump and the DOJ on Monday reached an agreement to allow the department’s inspector general to investigate claims of FBI wrongdoing in the Russia probe.
The DOJ agreed to expand its inspector general probe to include “any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump campaign.”
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