Did the FBI spy on the Trump campaign? Sharyl Attkisson compiles “8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign.” Although you’d never know it from the New York Times and its mainstream media colleagues, it looks like the biggest scandal in American political history.
Here to lend a hand, Michael Barone provides understated and much needed historical perspective to his media colleagues: “Until 2016, just about everyone agreed that it was a bad thing for government intelligence or law enforcement agencies to spy (er, secretly collect information?) on a political campaign. Especially a campaign of the opposition party.” Thank you, Mr. Barone!
According to former Obama administration officials, to their faithful Democratic supporters, and to their media adjunct, there is nothing to see here. They disparage President Trump’s tweets decrying “spygate” as the usual Trump piffle. Trump nevertheless appears to be on to something. At the least, I take it that the bureau monitored the Trump campaign in the hope of discovering wrongdoing it could easily have prevented if that were its true intent.
Former FBI Director James Comey has commented on Twitter. He makes a terminological point to clear things up, but it reads like an acknowledgement and confession to me. Analyze this:
Facts matter. The FBI’s use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?
— James Comey (@Comey) May 23, 2018
Brit Hume translates: “In other words, sure we were spying but get the title right and by the way, it’s all under control.”
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has contributed his own “clarifications.” Consistent with the Times stylebook, Clapper described the FBI operative(s) monitoring the Trump campaign as an “informant” and described the use of this informant as “a fairly benign tool” that the F.B.I. employs “all the time.” Good to know, and the Times dutifully adopts Clapper’s clarification to “correct” President Trump.
Clapper sought further to clear it all up in a friendly interview with Judy Woodruff on the PBS NewsHour last night. The FBI wasn’t “spy[ing].” It was “protect[ing].” So the FBI was spying to protect us. Thanks for clearing that up!
The intent "was not to spy on the campaign, but rather to determine what the Russians were up to," former DNI James Clapper tells @JudyWoodruff. "That was the concern that the FBI had, and I think they were just doing their job and trying to protect our political system." pic.twitter.com/lPa9Rc9qb3
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) May 23, 2018