GOP rep: Trump knows claim FBI planted spy in campaign is 'not true'

GOP rep: Trump knows claim FBI planted spy in campaign is 'not true'
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Rep. Tom RooneyThomas (Tom) Joseph RooneyRepublican rips GOP lawmakers for voting by proxy from CPAC House Dem calls on lawmakers to 'insulate' election process following Mueller report Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides MORE (R-Fla.) on Wednesday went after President TrumpDonald TrumpHouse votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at age 93 White House readies for Chauvin verdict MORE for his repeated claims that the FBI planted a spy in his campaign, suggesting the president spread the theory despite knowing it was false.

"What is the point of saying that there was a spy in the campaign when there was none?" Rooney told Politico.

"It’s like, ‘Lets create this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true,' " he continued. "Maybe it’s just to create more chaos but it doesn’t really help the case."


Trump has in recent weeks repeatedly alleged on Twitter and in person that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign. He has, without evidence, suggested it was done by the Obama administration for political purposes, and dubbed the matter "spygate."

The FBI had an informant in 2016 who reportedly met with three Trump campaign officials.

GOP lawmakers have pressed Department of Justice officials for information on the informant, raising questions about improper behavior at the bureau.

In response, congressional leaders and a few other Republicans received a closed-door briefing on the matter. Following the meeting, Rep. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyPompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy The Hunter Biden problem won't go away Sunday shows preview: Joe Biden wins the 2020 election MORE (R-S.C.) told CBS News that he had seen no evidence to support Trump’s claims that a “spy” was improperly inserted into his 2016 campaign.

Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanOn The Money: Senate confirms Gensler to lead SEC | Senate GOP to face off over earmarks next week | Top Republican on House tax panel to retire Trump faces test of power with early endorsements Lobbying world MORE (R-Wis.) backed up Gowdy on Wednesday, although he added that there are “some more documents to review” and “some unanswered questions.”

Rooney, who is retiring at the end of his current term, defended Gowdy's take on the meeting even as some conservatives remain skeptical about the FBI's practices toward the Trump campaign.

"If you want to disagree with what we were briefed on and say that it was a spy? That’s fine, I guess," he told Politico.

"We would just disagree with that," he said. "And if that makes us RINOs because we have a different opinion about what the FBI was doing, then I guess we’re RINOs."

RINO is commonly used to refer to "Republicans in name only."