Republican leader: ‘For all practical purposes’ there’s no difference between an FBI informant and a spy

Republican leader: ‘For all practical purposes’ there’s no difference between an FBI informant and a spy
© Greg Nash

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynThree pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement Davis: The Hall of Shame for GOP senators who remain silent on Donald Trump MORE (R-Texas) said on Saturday that he doesn’t see a difference between an FBI informant and a spy in relation to recent revelations that the FBI used an informant to investigate the Trump presidential campaign.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, Cornyn said that there is no difference between a “confidential informant” and a spy.

“The FBI was involved in a counterintelligence investigation, I presume, and used somebody who had contacted various subjects of their investigation to communicate back to the FBI what they found out,” Cornyn, who is the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said. “I guess for all practical purposes, for most people, it wouldn’t be any different.”

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House Republicans, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Negotiators 'far apart' as talks yield little ahead of deadline MORE (Calif.), have been pushing for weeks to get access to information about the FBI informant.

Democrats have said the FBI did nothing wrong by using an informant, who reportedly met with at least three Trump advisers during the campaign in 2016.

But President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrat calls on White House to withdraw ambassador to Belarus nominee TikTok collected data from mobile devices to track Android users: report Peterson wins Minnesota House primary in crucial swing district MORE has made unsubstantiated claims that Democrats planted a spy in his presidential campaign.

Cornyn blamed former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyRepublicans set sights on FBI chief as Russia probe investigations ramp up The Hill's 12:30 Report - Speculation over Biden's running mate announcement Trump slams former intelligence officials to explain 'reluctance to embrace' agencies MORE, who was fired by Trump last year, for the current situation.

“I think Director Comey helped create a culture at the FBI that they were accountable to no one. And unfortunately, that created, I believe, this situation we find ourselves with,” Cornyn told Hewitt.

He defended the current FBI director but said the bureau is still viewed in a bad light.

“Director [Christopher] Wray, I have to tell you, I think is doing an outstanding job. But it’s going to be a long time before the reputation of the FBI regains its reputation as a law enforcement organization that has integrity and is above politics.”