President Donald J. Trump continued to highlight on Thursday the FBI’s decision to use an informant to spy on members of his campaign.
He focused his remarks on former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who confirmed there were intelligence assets deployed to inform on Trump’s campaign even though he did not like to use the word “spy.”
“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign,” Trump said. “Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal.”
Clapper denied that the FBI was spying on Trump’s campaign.
“No we did not,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, calling the president’s comments “a distortion” of his remarks in an earlier interview on The View. “I was trying to explain my understanding of what this informant was doing,” he added. “And I wasn’t spying on the campaign.”
Trump was referring to payments made to FBI informant Stefan Halper who received over a million dollars from the Department of Defense through the Office of Net Assessment between 2012 and 2018.
The president continued to cast doubts on the protests lodged by Clapper, who called the use of an informant a “very benign thing.”
“Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “SPYGATE – a terrible thing!”
Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2018