Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trump "Spygate" Myth Loses Steam

The GOP's Trey Gowdy who has refuted Trump's "spygate" lies.

As noted in previous blog post Donald Trump and certain of his sycophants have been spreading the lie that the FBI and/or other government agencies improperly placed "spies" within the Trump presidential campaign.  As Rudy Giuliani shockingly admitted more or less that all of the "spygate" lies were part of a "PR" effort to dupe the American public should Trump find himself facing impeachment.  Now, that false storyline is collapsing as even some right wing Republicans are conceding that the FBI acted appropriately given the questionable Russian ties of some of Trump's "inner circle." In my view, the real issue that Trump is deliberately ignoring is the fact that he surrounded himself with individuals suspected as being Russian agents. This, of course, leads to the question of why Trump surrounded himself with individuals in some instances for years prior to the launch of the Trump candidacy/campaign.  A piece in Politico looks at Trump's crumbling line of lies and bullshit.  Here are story excerpts:
President Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign for political purposes began to crumble Wednesday after a prominent Republican, as well as defenders of the president, said he might have the story wrong.
In less than 24 hours, Trump’s allegations were publicly refuted by House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), one of just nine lawmakers briefed on highly classified details of the FBI’s operation; Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a Trump favorite; and prominent legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a vocal Trump ally who has advised the president on legal strategy.
Legal experts and Trump critics say the defections have exposed cracks in the president’s narrative and undermine his attempts to discredit the FBI investigation into Russian contacts with his campaign as a partisan, “deep state” attack on his presidential bid.
And notably, a slew of Trump's congressional allies who have been active purveyors of what the president dubbed “spygate” — including Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin — were silent Wednesday. POLITICO reached out to a handful of these lawmakers and did not hear back.
The White House declined to directly rebut Gowdy on Wednesday, but made clear the president hasn’t backed off his concern. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that “clearly, there's still cause for concern” about the president's "spy" allegations."
The blowback began Tuesday night when Gowdy, pressed during a Fox News interview, insisted that the FBI acted appropriately when it deployed an informant to collect information during the 2016 presidential election from Trump campaign aides Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Both men had been suspected of having questionable Russian contacts and the FBI's attempt to follow the lead was appropriate and necessary, Gowdy said.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got,” said Gowdy, one of just five Republicans in a classified DOJ briefing last week for congressional leaders about the issue.
Wednesday morning, Gowdy doubled down on CBS.  “When the FBI comes into contact with information about what a foreign government may be doing in our election cycle, I think they have an obligation to run it out," he said.
The lawmaker's comments were echoed by Napolitano, who said Trump's “spy” claim seemed to be “baseless” and that the use of an informant on the periphery of the campaign is “standard operating procedure” in the FBI’s counterintelligence operations.
Dershowitz joined in Wednesday morning by conceding that he was “on the way to being persuaded” that the FBI’s use of an informant was proper.
The confluence of conservative defenses of the FBI undercuts Trump’s aggressive PR strategy to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing probe into Russian election meddling and whether there was any coordination with the Trump campaign.
Jordan (R-Ohio) and Gaetz (R-Fla.), who have also vocally excoriated the FBI and Justice Department, were also not immediately available to comment.
The other Republicans who attended last Thursday's briefing — House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner and House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes — have also declined to publicly comment on how the meeting affected their opinion of the issue. 
Those Republicans remaining silent are little better than the Vichy French who collaborated with the Nazi occupation, hence why I refer to them as "Vichy Republicans."

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