President Donald Trump is not backing down on his unproven claim that the FBI planted a spy in his presidential campaign.
Trump is tweeting an interview aired Thursday night on the "Tucker Carlson Tonight" program. A writer for the conservative media website The Federalist told Carlson that "everyone knows there was a Spy" in Trump's 2016 campaign.
Trump has branded his latest attempt to discredit the special counsel's Russia investigation as "spygate," part of a newly invigorated strategy embraced by his Republican colleagues to raise suspicions about the probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 campaign.
He has embellished reports that a longtime U.S. government informant approached members of his campaign in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.
On Friday, Trump tweeted, "The Democrats are now alluding to the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party's campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be. But what about an "Informant" who is paid a fortune and who "sets up" way earlier than the Russian Hoax?"
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have gotten classified briefings about the origins of the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election, a highly unusual series of meetings prompted by partisan allegations that the bureau spied on Donald Trump's campaign.
Democrats emerged from the meetings saying they saw no evidence to support Republican allegations that the FBI acted inappropriately, although they did express grave concern about the presence of a White House lawyer at Thursday's briefings. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News he had learned "nothing particularly surprising," but declined to go into detail.
Still, the extraordinary briefings drew attention to the unproved claims of FBI misconduct and political bias.
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