Trump Slams Comey, Clapper over Spygate, 'Biggest Political Scandals in US History'


President Donald Trump continued assailing the nation’s intelligence community this week based on a conspiracy theory about FBI spies embedded in his 2016 presidential campaign.

The president has dedicated much of his Twitter feed in recent days to denounce what he has dubbed “Spygate,” a theme he revived in a pair of tweets on Thursday morning.

In the first, Trump criticized former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for what he claimed was a tacit admission of the clandestine mission within the presidential team.

“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign,” Trump wrote. “Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal.”

Missing 17-Year-Old Girl Found Dead After 'Devastating, Mind-Blowing' Discovery Next Door Brings Months-Long Search to an End

The reference took Clapper’s remarks out of context, the Obama Cabinet member said in an interview this week.

Clapper’s initial remarks came on Tuesday during an appearance on ABC’s “The View,” in which he explained that intelligence agencies were interested in pursuing allegations of Russian influence in the election regardless of which campaign might have been impacted.

As the Washington Examiner reported, Trump misquoted Clapper in a response via Twitter.

Do you believe Trump's claims?

Regardless of Trump’s interpretation of those comments, Clapper told CNN’s Jake Tapper the next day that there was no spying sanctioned on the Trump campaign.

“No, we did not,” he said. “And that is — that is a distortion of what I said. In fact, I had an aversion to the use of the term (spying) and thought I made that clear.”

Trump went on to allege that the unverified claims amount to what appears to be “one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!”

A few minutes later, Trump followed that statement with an attack on other frequent political foes.

DeSantis Announces He's on State Ballot with a Strange Message Targeting His Own Party

“Not surprisingly, the GREAT Men & Women of the FBI are starting to speak out against (former FBI Director James) Comey, (former Deputy FBI Director Andrew) McCabe and all of the political corruption and poor leadership found within the top ranks of the FBI,” Trump wrote.

Calling Comey a “terrible and corrupt leader,” he claimed the controversial figure “inflicted great pain on the FBI!”

Trump again emphasized his preferred branding of the administration’s latest controversy, using “#SPYGATE” to conclude the presidential statement.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , , , , ,
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment