Donald Trump’s latest allegation is that the FBI planted a “spy” in his presidential campaign and therefore the whole investigation into its ties to Russia is illegitimate.
This is hyperbole. Both Adam Schiff, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, and Marco Rubio, a Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, have dismissed the president’s claim as nonsense.
What appears to have happened is that somebody in the campaign talked to the FBI — far from a spy, at best an informant.
This was when the bureau had already started investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, having been warned by foreign intelligence agencies and undoubtedly alarmed by the proliferation of Kremlin-friendly operatives around Trump, from Michael Flynn to Paul Manafort to Carter Page.
Lies, lies and more lies
Trump and his allies in the conservative media are trying to discredit an investigation that must pose a lethal threat to his presidency.
They will say anything:
- That the Obama Administration wiretapped Trump Tower in New York;
- That National Security Advisor Susan Rice improperly “unmasked” the identity of Trump officials caught up in surveillance; and
- That the whole investigation originated with a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who had been contracted to look into Trump’s Russian business ventures.
All of those claims — which Trump’s defenders at one time described as “worse than Watergate” and “irrefutable proof of a coordinated conspiracy” — turned out to be false.
Don’t believe a word they say.