Trump Claims Clapper ‘Admitted’ to ‘Spying’ in Campaign. Here’s What He Actually Said


President Donald Trump reiterated a claim he has been refining in his quest to convince everyone that “SpyGate” is a thing: that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper “admitted” there was a spy on the Trump campaign.

“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning. “Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal.

“Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history,” he added, concluding the tweet with the awfully hackneyed nomenclature he has coined for this supposed scandal: “SPYGATE – a terrible thing!”

Trump’s allegations stem from Clapper’s appearance on The View this week, in which he had the following exchange with host Joy Behar:

Behar: So I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?

Clapper: No, they were not. They were spying on, a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence which is what they do.

Behar: Well, why doesn’t [Trump] like that? He should be happy.

Clapper: He should be.

And with those words, an anti-Trump narrative was born! Trump plucked Clapper’s comments and tossed them wildly out of context, perhaps with the help of this incredibly misleading RealClearPolitics headline — “Clapper: Trump Should Be ‘Happy’ That The FBI Was ‘Spying’ On His Campaign” — to claim that Clapper admitted the FBI spied on his campaign and that he should be “happy” about it.

For good measure, Trump added a tweet taking a shot at former FBI director James Comey:

Watch Clapper on The View above, via ABC. The revelant segment starts at the 1:55 mark.

[image via screengrab]

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin