Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper - who much like former FBI Director James Comey is peddling a book right now, accused President Trump of twisting his words after a bizarre interview on The View on Tuesday.
When Clapper was asked if the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign, he replied "They were spying on - a term I don't particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing." (By sending a spy to perform espionage on several members of the Trump campaign)
Collage of Clapper on TV today— Jack Posobiec🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) May 23, 2018
Any body language experts want to weigh in? pic.twitter.com/iAECryTCBL
In response to Clapper's statement, President Trump tweeted: "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!"
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
When asked by Axios about Trump's Tweet, Clapper said that the President "deliberately spun it," likening it to "George Orwell - up is down, black is white, peace is war."
But the punchline was Clapper's "explanation" of what really happened: "I took aversion to the word spy, it was the most benign version of information gathering."
The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign. Of course, he turned that completely upside-down in his tweet, as he is wont to do." -James Clapper
We're not sure if Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, was trying to be humorous or if he just doesn't understand what the word "spy" means - as it encompasses all forms of covert information collection, including the use of human intelligence, upstream data collection and all forms of espionage in between.
The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary defines Spy as:
In case that isn't clear enough for Clapper:
n. pl. spies (spīz)
- One who secretly collects information concerning the enemies of a government or group.
- One who secretly collects information for a business about one or more of its competitors.
- One who secretly keeps watch on another or others.
v. spied (spīd), spy·ing, spies (spīz)
- To watch or observe secretly: was sent to spy out the enemy camp.
- To discover by close observation: "[They] are continually prowling about on all three decks, eager to spy outiniquities" (Herman Melville).
- To catch sight of; see: spied the ship on the horizon.
- To engage in espionage.
- To investigate or observe something, especially in secret: spying into the neighbor's activities.
Here's an even simpler explanation:
If you’re on the receiving end of an investigation, the person gathering info is a spy. If you’re on the other end of the investigation, (the government), the person getting the info is an informant. Pretty straightforward. https://t.co/1DlP4V8iiR— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) May 25, 2018
Dictionary definition of spy: “person who secretly collects and reports information on the activities, movements, and plans of an enemy or competitor.”— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) May 25, 2018
Media definition: “Not that guy who secretly collected/reported info on Trump campaign.”
73-year-old Cambridge professor, Stefan Halper was notably outed as the FBI's "informant" last Friday following weeks of speculation, after the New York Times and Washington Post published easily identifiable information about the U.S. citizen and Cambridge professor. Their reports matched a March 25 article by the Daily Caller detailing Halper's outreach to several low-level aides to the Trump campaign, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and a cup of coffee with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis.
These contacts are made even more significant by the fact that Halper's infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI's Operation Crossfire Hurricane - in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer - who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton's emails.
Halper also secured contracts for over $1 million by the Obama Department of Defense for "research" projects dating back to 2012. The most recent award to Halper for $411,575 was made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 - three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by "pissgate" dossier creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified "pissgate" dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.