It’s a word that Democrats don’t like to hear when it comes to the 2016 Trump campaign. For starters, it could place a lot of their allies in the legal crosshairs. Second, it would be yet another time they would have to eat crap for dismissing another claim by President Trump as whacko-doodle talk. Yeah, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. Trump says his tower was tapped. It was dismissed as psycho-talk…and then we learned that Paul Manafort, who lived in Trump Tower, has his phones tapped by the FBI. Then, there’s this whole allegation about spying. Spygate is what the president calls it—and once again these claims were dismissed as a whackjob theory. That was until last year when it was revealed that Stefan Halper was the person the FBI was trying to use to infiltrate the Trump campaign. This wasn’t hard to figure out; most of the breadcrumbs leading to Halper were public knowledge. Oh, and these attempts continued after the 2016 election as well. Sam Clovis, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page were the alleged targets.
The New York Times has tried to spin this whole operation as something that was everything, but spying. Then again, Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said it would have been a good thing if intelligence operative had been “observing” the campaign due to the threats the Russian allegations posed to the integrity of our electoral system or something. And that’s what a lot of liberals are saying to excuse the Trump campaign spy operation. It was a national security priority. Friendly reminder, the Trump campaign, and the Russians did not collude, nor was there any conspiracy to collude during the 2016 election per the Mueller report.
He wasn't a spy.... he was hired by the FBI to secretly engage in conversations under false pretenses and then report back whatever he learned in those conversations.— Larry O'Connor (@LarryOConnor) May 22, 2018
But he wasn't a spy.
This is the new pivot because it looks pretty clear that some sort of secret surveillance took place. Also, the American people aren’t going to buy that this was a ‘non-spy’ operation given the objectives and methods executed by the FBI in this case [UPDATE: Papadopoulos says Ms. Turk was CIA]. The New York Times’ story relating to this all but confirmed what many of us had known for years (via NYT) [emphasis mine]:
The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?
The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.
The American government’s affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it Spygate.
The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I.during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.
Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.
So, it’s confirmed. The FBI was spying.
I used to work for a spy agency— Buck Sexton (@BuckSexton) May 2, 2019
This is called “spying” https://t.co/KKdNIsqHsd
Oh, and we haven’t even touched upon the alleged FISA abuses that occurred under the Obama White House concerning obtaining a warrant that placed former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page under the microphone. A DOJ IG report is about to drop on that and reportedly the results are “scorching,” according to Dr. Sebastian Gorka who was a guest on yesterday’s episode of Triggered.
Also, it's the reason why all of this is dropping now. Air out as much as possible before the anvil falls.
Unbelievable. Just how many spies did the FBI run at the Trump campaign? (BTW, no coincidence things like this are leaking now. Everyone trying to get out ahead of Barr's investigation.)— Kimberley Strassel (@KimStrassel) May 2, 2019
UPDATE: Turk was CIA? Katie will have more on this later this afternoon.
I agree with everything in this superb article except “Azra Turk” clearly was not FBI. She was CIA and affiliated with Turkish intel. She could hardly speak English and was tasked to meet me about my work in the energy sector offshore Israel/Cyprus which Turkey was competing with https://t.co/wbyBnvb6io— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) May 2, 2019