Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has effectively admitted — albeit hesitantly and with a bevy of dubious excuses — that #SpyGate is 100 percent real.
Speaking early Monday evening on CNN’s “The Situation Room” about The New York Times’ bombshell report on the Obama administration’s efforts in 2016 to surveil then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, Clapper was asked whether those efforts were equivalent to “spying.”
“Well, yeah, I guess it meets the dictionary definition of surveillance or spying,” he conceded before adding that it’s “a term I don’t particularly like” and then trotting out an excuse.
“It’s not a term of art used by intelligence people. It has a negative connotation of a rogue operation, out of control, not in compliance with the law, and that’s not the case at all.”
But why should anybody believe him given his history of contradictory statements?
After Attorney General Bill Barr testified to Congress last month that he believes “spying did occur” under the Obama administration, Clapper complained, describing the assertion as “stunning and scary.”
That wasn’t his first denial.
“They were not [spying on Trump],” he said last May on “The View,” referencing the FBI. “They were spying — a term I don’t particularly like — on what the Russians were doing.”
The president seized on this statement at the time, tweeting, “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!”
The left-wing media pushed back on the tweet at the time by running fact-checks accusing the president of distorting the truth. CNN, where Clapper now works as a contributor, ran a piece titled, “James Clapper did NOT say what Donald Trump keeps saying he said.”
Other outlets followed suit:
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
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 23, 2018
— NPR (@NPR) May 24, 2018
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 23, 2018
I’d rather believe a reliable, unbiased source than someone who has been proven to have lied over 10,000 times while in office. https://t.co/7VX6VCbpDJ
— Zach Gilmore (@zachrobert15) May 6, 2019
The Times, which was quick to join the fact-check bandwagon last year, ran a bombshell piece Thursday admitting that during the 2016 presidential election, then-President Barack Hussein Obama’s FBI employed multiple spies to surveil Trump’s foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.
In other words, spying did occur.
Those spies included University of Cambridge senior fellow Stefan Halper and a mysterious woman who identified as “Azra Turk.” While conservative media have been aware of Halper’s involvement in the Obama administration’s spying efforts since at least 2018, Thursday’s bombshell marked one of the first instances of the liberal mainstream media finally acknowledging the truth.
What’s notable is that the piece disproved Clapper’s previous assertion.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer also asked the former DNI whether he believes that the Department of Justice inspector general will “find anything inappropriate on the part of the FBI or the U.S. Intelligence community” vis-à-vis Obama’s spying.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz is on the verge of completing an investigation into the possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the Obama DOJ.
“Well, I don’t know,” Clapper replied before trotting out another excuse. “But I will say that using undercover agents is a standard and legitimate technique that is widely used in investigations.”
“That technique has been used to thwart a lot of counter-terrorism plots in this country. So I’m sure — I mean there are protocols and standards for using an agent, and I’m sure that’s the case here.”
It’s unclear whether he was suggesting that there’s an equivalence between the president’s 2016 election campaign and terrorist organizations such as al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.
What’s also unclear is whether the Obama administration’s spying efforts were legal. Last month the attorney general launched an investigation to resolve this question.
Congressional Democrats have meanwhile shown no interest in determining the legitimacy or lack thereof of the former administration’s spying efforts. Instead they’ve continued to double down on bizarre conspiracy theories and likewise accuse the AG of committing crimes.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson suggested Monday evening that these efforts are an attempt to draw the public’s attention away from the Obama administration’s potentially illegal spying.
“The people who run the Democratic party are not crazy,” he said on FNC’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “They are coolly rational; they always have been. They want power. That’s all they want. Whatever it takes. These people don’t throw fits unless it’s to serve some higher political purpose. And this fit does serve a higher purpose. They’re trying to divert attention from a much bigger story.”
“Remember when Trump said the Obama administration had been spying on his campaign? The Democratic Party’s bootlickers went absolutely crazy the second he said it. They rushed to the nearest television studio to mock the very idea.”
“And now we know that it was. In fact, according to recent testimony from a high-ranking FBI official, the spying turned out to be far more extensive than Trump suspected. Even James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, had to concede that in an interview on CNN,” he added shortly thereafter before playing the clip up top of Clapper finally fessing up to the truth.
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