Rand Paul claims Brennan, Clapper, Comey 'sent spies into the Trump campaign'

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Bottom line MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday claimed members of the intelligence community who served under former President Obama sent "spies" into President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE's presidential campaign.

In an interview with "Fox & Friends" Thursday morning, the senator alluded to a "source" that he said supplied him with information about alleged efforts by members of Obama's Justice Department to gather information on the Trump campaign's activities.

"Well my source tells me that the intelligence community, Obama's intelligence community, [former CIA Director John] Brennan, [former Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper, [former FBI Director James] Comey, they were frustrated because they had this Russian dossier but nobody believed it was real," Paul said, referring to a dossier of claims about Trump and Russia that had been compiled by a former British spy named Christopher Steele.

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Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump rips Krugman, NYT after columnist writes GOP no longer believes in American values Klobuchar jokes to Cuomo: 'I feel you creeping over my shoulder' but 'not in a Trumpian manner' Dems seek to rein in calls for impeachment MORE, then the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nominee, and the Democratic National Committee hired Washington firm Fusion GPS, which then turned to Steele, to conduct research about Trump’s ties to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and Moscow.

"It wasn't verifiable, they couldn't get anything out of it," Paul continued. "So they sent spies into the Trump campaign, they tried to entrap Trump officials to admit they were working with Russia. That wasn't working, so they were frustrated."

"But they wanted to somehow get this information out — this Russian dossier … So finally they decided … what we have to do is attach this dossier, this fake dossier, to an intelligence report [given to Obama]," he claimed.

Paul did not clarify which members of the Trump campaign he thought were "spies" working for U.S. intelligence. 

Clapper, formerly head of the U.S. intelligence community, has stated that U.S. agencies engaged in surveillance of Russian officials and their activities during the 2016 election but did not "spy" on the Trump campaign.

The former intelligence official accused Trump of spinning his words about the matter in an "Orwellian" manner last year.

I took aversion to the word 'spy.' It was the most benign version of information gathering. The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign,” he said in May.

“Of course, he turned that completely upside-down in his tweet, as he is wont to do,” Clapper added.