Fact check: Trump puts words about spying in Clapper's mouth

Glen Norman
May 26, 2018

The New York Times was the first to report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had an informant who met several times with Trump campaign officials who had suspicious contacts linked to Russian Federation.

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.

Trump has long argued that both the FBI and Mueller's investigations into Russian meddling and possible collusion with his campaign in the 2016 election are "phony", a "witch hunt" "and a "hoax".

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

WHERE WE GO FROM HEREIn Trump's corner are several House Republicans who are demanding access to the FBI's closely guarded secrets in the Russian Federation probe, including details on the Russian Federation informant.

Since then, the attendee list for each meeting has shifted nearly hourly, with House Speaker Paul Ryan saying Thursday morning that he would attend the first meeting and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi later announcing that the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, Rep. Adam Schiff, would also attend that first meeting, making it a bipartisan briefing.

"They may have a different version of the truth than we do", Giuliani said.

The meeting attendees will be Representatives Devin Nunes, chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, and Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, White House spokesman Sarah Sanders told the daily news briefing.

There's no telling what kind of information was actually discussed in those meetings, but we do know that Democrat, Adam Schiff, the only Democrat allowed to go to that meeting, did come out and say there was absolutely nothing to confirm Trump's claims that there was a spy within his campaign.

Trump is tweeting an interview aired Thursday night on the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" program.

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who was scheduled to travel to Texas for a fundraiser Thursday afternoon, planned to attend the noon meeting, as well, rather than the Gang of Eight session, an aide said.

Trump has gradually escalated his rhetoric on the matter this week, coining it "spygate" and tweeting on Wednesday: "Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State".

"I did a great service to this country by firing James Comey", Trump said.

Or, as Trump calls the source, "spy".

The events took place under then FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired a year ago, and before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former federal prosecutor and FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel.

The president demanded the Justice Department investigate the accusations and turn over any relevant documents to Congress.

"Everyone knows there was a spy, and in fact, the people who were involved in the spying are admitting that there was a spy.Widespread spying involving multiple people", Trump said quoting Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway, in a tweet.

Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, rattled off a series of false claims Trump has made as president. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of SC was not in the meetings but, in a radio interview Friday, broke with the president to say that a "confidential informant is not a spy". "We'd urge the Justice Department to re-evaluate, to acknowledge they made a mistake". But NPR and other news outlets have identified him as Stefan Halper, a retired professor who served in several Republican presidential administrations.

The White House said Flood and Kelly gave brief remarks at the outset of the briefings but did not stay for the substance.

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