- President Donald Trump sent Wednesday-morning tweets again criticizing the Justice Department and intelligence agencies.
- He is now referring to the reported instance of an FBI informant talking to Trump campaign officials before the 2016 election as “SPYGATE.”
President Donald Trump scolded what he called the “Criminal Deep State” on Wednesday for the investigation into whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election and for the reported use of an informant to gather information from members of his campaign.
“They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “What goes around, comes around!”
Trump then branded the episode as “SPYGATE,” which he tweeted “could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”
Trump was referring to a story reported by both The Washington Post and The New York Times on Friday that an American professor who teaches in Britain was tapped by the FBI to speak with Trump campaign officials before the 2016 election.
There’s no substantial evidence that the informant, whose identity has been concealed, “infiltrated” Trump’s campaign to spy, as the president has suggested. Instead, many close to the US intelligence community maintain that the FBI wanted this person to gauge the level of contact between some of Trump’s people and Russia.
- Donald J. Trump/Twitter
But at Trump’s request, the Justice Department asked the Office of the Inspector General to broaden its investigation regarding the former campaign aide Carter Page to “include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election,” a Justice Department spokeswoman said.
Trump went on to rip James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, for saying on “The View” that Trump should be “happy” that FBI agents were “trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence which is what they do” by covertly contacting his campaign.
“No, James Clapper, I am not happy,” Trump tweeted. “Spying on a campaign would be illegal, and a scandal to boot!”
John Haltiwanger contributed to this report.