On Thursday, President Trump attacked former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in a tweet, criticizing the former intelligence chief for remarks he made on “The View” about surveillance of Trump’s campaign.
According to The New York Times, Trump claimed in his tweet that Clapper had “admitted” to placing a spy on his campaign staff; however, Clapper only acknowledged that an FBI informant had contacted several members of Trump’s campaign as part of the ongoing investigation.
“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!” Trump tweeted.
Clapper said that FBI agents were involved in efforts to counter Russian influence.
“They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence — which is what they do,” Clapper told The View on Wednesday.
“Well, why doesn’t he like that? He should be happy,” host Joy Behar said, referring to Trump.
“He should be,” Clapper responded.
The president has on several occasions claimed without evidence that the Obama administration placed a spy on his campaign staff with the intention of aiding his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
In tweets, Trump stated that the informant “never” reported on potential Russian efforts to collude with his campaign.
“If the person placed very early into my campaign wasn’t a SPY put there by the previous Administration for political purposes, how come such a seemingly massive amount of money was paid for services rendered – many times higher than normal,” he tweeted Tuesday night. “Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!”