Clapper suggests 'parallelism' in actions of Russia, Trump campaign

Informants, infiltration and spying: Some definitions in the FBI investigation of team Trump
Team Donald Trump's new defense strategy: I'm being set up

30 May, 2018

Democratic lawmakers said on Thursday they heard nothing in classified briefings by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and intelligence officials to support President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated allegation that the agency placed a "spy" into his 2016 presidential campaign to help his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump - without citing evidence - named his latest attempt at discrediting special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe "Spygate".

Kelly and the White House have been brokering the conversations since Trump said on Twitter last weekend that he wanted to learn more about the FBI's use of confidential informants to interview campaign aides in 2016.

Giuliani said that if the alleged spying turns out to have been "inappropriate", then "we may have an entirely illegitimate investigation", referring to the Mueller probe.

On Thursday, two White House officials, including a lawyer who represents President Trump, attended meetings with top law enforcement officials about documents related to the ongoing investigation of Trump and his campaign.

Trump claimed ex-DNI James Clapper "admitted", the intelligence community "was spying on my campaign", a false statement that twisted Clapper's recent comments about the FBI's actions and the repeat of an unproven claim by the president. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), calling him a "barometer of mindless conventional wisdom" for saying that a "confidential informant is not a spy".

Nunes attended both briefings Thursday.

If Giuliani files any complaints, they would presumably fall on the desk of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller past year following Comey's ousting. Presidents of the United States do not - or did not, until Sunday's tweet: "I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!" "They also conveyed the president's understanding of the need to protect human intelligence services and the importance of communication between the branches of government".

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Trump denounced the FBI's use of a secret informant and said that had been tantamount to government-sponsored political snooping for Democrats.

Giuliani said it would be appropriate for Trump to be briefed on the findings.

The "Gang of 8" includes the Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate as well as the respective party leaders from the House and Senate intelligence committees.

Clapper oversaw the U.S. intelligence community for over six years, during which the intelligence community concluded in a declassified report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an "influence campaign" aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton and helping Trump in the election.

SANDERS: That's something that you would have to ask the Department of Justice.

Nunes and Gowdy had been requesting secret information from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for months about the Russian Federation investigation, and he had resisted.

Explaining a new policy aimed at stopping "piling on"-situations where companies are punished a couple of times for the same crime by different government agencies-he said: "The dictionary defines "piling on" as joining other people in criticizing someone, usually in an unfair manner". He was a senior official who briefed reporters Thursday in a session set up by the White House press office, which set ground rules requiring that reporters not use his name.

TRUMP tweet: "Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign". Giuliani asked Friday. "They clearly did not get incriminating information or we'd have found out about it by now". The White House gave no evidence to support Trump's claim that President Barack Obama's administration was trying to spy on his 2016 campaign for political reasons.

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