It regarded like a spy, it wiretapped like a spy, and arrange sting operations like a spy – however James Comey says the FBI’s counterintelligence operation in opposition to Donald Trump’s presidential marketing campaign was “investigating.”
In an look on ‘CBS This Morning’ on Wednesday, America’s former high spy, sorry, investigator, took goal at Attorney General William Barr for his declare that FBI “spying did occur” on the Trump marketing campaign in 2016.
“Yeah, I have no idea what he’s talking about. The FBI doesn’t spy, the FBI investigates,” Comey informed CBS. “We investigated a very serious allegation, that Americans might be hooked up with the Russian effort to attack our democracy.”
So was the FBI’s counterintelligence marketing campaign spying or not spying? That’s a problem of semantics.
The company wiretapped Trump marketing campaign adviser Carter Page, primarily based on flimsy proof specified by the so-called ‘Steele Dossier’ – an unverified piece of Democrat-funded opposition analysis compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. Comey himself later admitted that the company knew the file was unverifiable.
The FBI additionally despatched an undercover agent to London to fulfill with George Papadopoulos, one other adviser to the Trump marketing campaign to probe Papadopoulos for contacts with the Russian authorities.
While Barr referred to the FBI’s marketing campaign as “spying,” his use of the phrase angered America’s high spies.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper known as Barr’s feedback “stunning” and “scary,” whereas present FBI Director Christopher Wray informed senators on Tuesday that “spying” is “not the term I would use” to explain the FBI’s “surveillance activity.”
“Lots of people have different colloquial phrases,” he added.
Although at the moment embroiled in a battle with House Democrats over his refusal handy over a totally unredacted model of the Mueller report, Barr informed the Senate final week that his division is “working to try to reconstruct” the FBI’s spying, sorry, surveillance, on the Trump marketing campaign. The Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz can also be probing the legality of the FBI’s Carter Page surveillance warrant, with a report anticipated by June.
Whatever the outcomes, the disagreement continues for now. As an apart, in line with the Oxford English Thesaurus, “surveillance,” “counter-intelligence,” and “wiretapping” are all synonyms for “spying.”