President Trump Claims ‘Spying’ on His Campaign Was Illegal. He’s Wrong

Hannah Rogers
May 26, 2018

If the administration can not function, the burden of this constantly shifting investigation will give rise to a narrative that any failure was due to the Mueller diversion - that the Trump administration was stabbed in the back.

The mere existence of a government informant in an investigation doesn't mean a probe is tainted.

Now, the president is publicly arguing that this informant was not an FBI asset assisting in a legitimate counterintelligence investigation - but rather, a "spy" that the Obama administration embedded in his campaign "for political purposes".

But Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), a stalwart Trump supporter and chair of the House Intelligence Committee, declined to speak to reporters about whether the material reviewed at the briefing supported the president's statements.

But now, Trump's tweet has forced the term "Spygate" to be redefined.

The second meeting is a reversal from the original plan brokered by the White House, which excluded Democrats.

President Trump is saying things have turned around on the criminal deep state.

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Asked whether he could deny that the FBI sent someone to get a job working full-time inside Trump's presidential campaign, Comey laughed and said: "I'm tempted, but I've got to leave it to the Bureau to comment". I don't understand that in the specific case of Stefan Halper, whose "spy work" seems to have involved little more than schmoozing ancillary members of Trump's campaign, but I understand it in the broader context.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe, held two unusual classified briefings for senior lawmakers of both parties in the wake of the Republican president's claim.

Former FBI Director James Comey, who was sacked by Trump past year, said the agency's use of secret informants was "tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country".

"The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russian Federation, because there was no Collusion". The Justice Department hasn't said what information will be shared with lawmakers and Kelly about the informant.

The White House now says it is working to facilitate a meeting with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to review classified documents on the Russian Federation investigation this week, instead of after the Memorial Day recess, as promised earlier.

There was at least one indication the latter was a consideration - in an interview with Politico, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said on Thursday, "We want to see how the briefing went ... and how much we learned from it".

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a noted critic of the president, said earlier this week that any type of spy or informant on the campaign was there to monitor possible Russian activities, not to gather political information. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had originally said no one from the White House would attend the briefing, at which the investigation into Trump's campaign will be discussed. He demanded in recent days that the Justice Department investigate the matter and turn over records to Congress, ignoring warnings from law enforcement officials in his administration, that sharing the documents would put the informant and foreign intelligence partners at risk. Former federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman was on MSNBC Wednesday morning to explain the difference between a spy and someone who just gives information to the authorities.

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