For the second morning in a row, President Trump accused the FBI via Twitter on Friday of embedding a "spy" in his presidential campaign, a charge he tweeted Thursday would be "bigger than Watergate!"
“Apparently the DOJ put a Spy in the Trump Campaign. This has never been done before and by any means necessary, they are out to frame Donald Trump for crimes he didn’t commit.” David Asman @LouDobbs @GreggJarrett Really bad stuff!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
Trump attributed these "spy" accusations to National Review's Andrew McCarthy and Fox Business personalities, but Axios notes that speculation has been spreading through the conservative media ecosystem. On Thursday, The Washington Post tied the spying allegation to the push by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and other Trump allies in Congress, plus Stephen Bannon, to uncover the identity of a longtime FBI and CIA informant who contributed to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and other ongoing investigations. "The stakes are so high," the Post reports, the FBI "is taking steps to protect other live investigations that the person has worked on and is trying to lessen any danger to associates if the informant's identity becomes known."
On CNN Friday morning, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani conceded that neither he nor Trump knows if there really was an "informant." Pressed by Chris Cuomo, Giuliani said people had told the Trump team about the spies "off the record — you don't know if they're right or not, they're people who knew a little about the investigation." "But the president this morning is quoting a Fox News commentator as his source," Cuomo cut in, noting that Trump could just pick up the phone and ask the Justice Department himself. Peter Weber
Rudy Giuliani on President Trump's claims that there was an "informant" in the Trump campaign: "I don't know for sure, nor does the President, if there really was one” pic.twitter.com/of1eS51GwR
— New Day (@NewDay) May 18, 2018