Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

How did the Federal Bureau of Investigation use an informant on the Trump campaign?

How did the Federal Bureau of Investigation use an informant on the Trump campaign?

President Donald Trump repeated Thursday his false interpretation of how the former Director of National Intelligence explained the FBI's investigation of Russia's attempt to possibly infiltrate the Trump campaign in 2016 and reiterated a term for the alleged scandal that he created: "Spygate".

"[The spying] was happening before the FBI opened an investigation [into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia], we know that from nonclassified sources", he said.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday it's planning for a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders, known as the "Gang of 8", to receive a highly classified intelligence briefing on the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling, reversing plans to exclude Democrats altogether.

He said the president's attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation "will do lasting damage to our country".

The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department has simmered for weeks. They're willfully abetting the dismantling of our democratic institutions, threatening our democracy at its very core. 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. This news seemed to scare former Central Intelligence Agency chief and close Obama ally John Brennan, whose panicked response was widely mocked by pro-Trump political surrogates who saw in this proof that one of the most powerful spies in the U.S. at the time might be afraid of going down with this scandal.

Schiff spoke on behalf of Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner.

While Yates would not comment on the allegations of spying, deferring comment on the investigation to the Justice Department and FBI, she said she was confident the investigation would bear out the truth.

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

Trump's focus on the investigation - even on a weekend typically reserved for mourning soldiers who died in combat - underscored the degree to which the issue continues to obsess and frustrate the president, who believes it is an effort to delegitimize his presidency.

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The action then shifted to the US Capitol where Federal Bureau of Investigation director Chris Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats helped brief the so-called Gang of Eight.

Asked about one of Trump's tweets referring to the use of the informant as "Spygate" and claiming that it may be "one of the biggest political scandals in US history", Haines said: "Surely, you realize that I think that's ridiculous". Experts who have studied autocrats around the world for the past 30 years have identified four common tactics used by autocrats to attack the societal structure in which they reside to sure up their political hold on power.

The department originally rejected Nunes' appeal, writing in a letter in late April that his request for information "regarding a specific individual" could have severe consequences, including potential loss of human life.

A congressional aide said conservative allies of the President - including Meadows and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, both of whom appealed to Trump directly last week for help in Republicans' quest for documents - remain concerned that they won't ultimately get their hands on documents they sought Trump's help to obtain, citing fears that the summit this week will not involve an actual review of the records.

This is not the first time Trump has made broad claims about the investigation.

From the candidate whose campaign brought us "alternative facts", we now have Trump and his allies repeating "No collusion" and "Mueller has been probing long enough" and "The real collusion was between Hillary Clinton and the Russians", among other alternative history.

Explaining a new policy aimed at stopping "piling on"-situations where companies are punished a few 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".

Democrats, meanwhile, said that based on the information they had received, the president's claims of a political spy were unsupported.

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