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Trump Confuses His Facts in Bizarre Foreign Interference Damage Control Attacking Democrats

Trump Offers Flurry of Excuses for Dodging Vietnam

President Donald Trump continued to spin his controversial statement about accepting foreign election interference, this time by attacking Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)with false claims about alleged or purported foreign contacts the two congressional intelligence chiefs were involved in.

On Thursday morning, Trump posted a series of tweets trying to mitigate the impact of his interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, in which Trump said his own FBI director was “wrong” to say that attempts by foreign governments to offer information on political opponents should be reported to the FBI, and expressed openness to such attempts in the future.

First, Trump tried to conflate ordinary diplomacy with foreign election interference, asking if he should “call the FBI” after speaking with world leaders like “the Prince of Whales” (he later corrected the spelling).

Then, Trump posted a series of tweets referencing a pair of incidents involving Warner, who is the ranking member on the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Schiff, the chairman of the House Intel Committee.


In Warner’s case, Trump is referring to text message exchanges with a lobbyist — not an entertainer purporting to be a Russian operative — in which Warner attempted to make contact with dossier author Christopher Steele. Warner undertook these contacts in his capacity as ranking member, and with the knowledge of Republican Committee Chairman Richard Burr.

Trump’s second tweet referred to an incident in which a pair of Russian comics prank called Schiff purporting to be Ukrainian — not Russian — and offered information about Trump to Schiff in his capacity as Intel committee ranking member. But Schiff says he knew the call was bogus, and that he immediately alerted law enforcement.

As for “spying” on Trump’s campaign, that term itself has become somewhat controversial when it was used by Attorney General William Barr to describe legitimate law enforcement activities. But in the sense that the FBI produced evidence showing there was probable cause to believe a crime was being committed in order to obtain surveillance warrants, Trump’s campaign was “spied on.”

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