After a major morning Twitter dump, President Donald Trump proudly declared to reporters on the White House lawn that “they” too are now using the name “Spygate” with regard to his campaign to discredit Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling.
“We now call it ‘Spygate.’ You’re calling it ‘Spygate,'” Trump beamed inaccurately, on the South Lawn.
The master of media manipulation held another of his tantalizing impromptu news conferences as he walked toward Marine One, heading to an event in New York where he said he plans to regale the crowd with more stories about the MS-13 gang. White House is calling it an immigration event. Same thing, in Trumpworld.
Not wasting time, one off-camera reporters asked what proof Trump had as to his claims that his campaign was spied on by the FBI.
It was exactly the question Trump had hoped for.
“All you have to do is look at the basics and you’ll see. It looks like a very serious event. But we’ll find out,” Trump began.
Turning to tomorrow’s meeting between Trump’s GOP “hero” Devin Nunes and intelligence officials, Trump said, “When they look at the documents, I think people are going to see a lot of bad things happened. I hope it’s not so, because if it is, there’s never been anything like it in the history of our country. I hope — I mean, if you look at Clapper, he sort of admitted that they had spies in the campaign, yesterday, inadvertently. But I hope it’s not true. But it looks like it is.”
Take away the “I hope it’s not so” gag and you’ve pretty much got House Intel Chair Nunes’ talking points to the world after tomorrow’s meeting, in which he and Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy will meet with senior Justice Department, FBI and intelligence officials about demands for docs related to a confidential intelligence source.
Or, as Trump calls the source, “spy.”
Trump claims the FBI spied on his campaign, tweeting this morning:
“Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!” Trump tweeted lots more where that came from, culminating with his hair-on-fire tweet: “WITCH HUNT!”
Trump, and other Republicans, have demanded an IG investigation of FBI on the matter.
Getting back to the South Lawn Q&A, another reporter said former FBI Director James Comey has taken issue with Trump’s morning Twitter output.
Trump called Comey a liar which, he said, will come out in the IG report.
Asked who he thought was responsible for “it” — the reporter did not specify what “it” was – adding, helpfully “President Obama?” Trump responded, I would certainly hope not, but I think it’ going to be pretty obvious after a while.”
He insisted he’s not “undercutting” the FBI and DOJ, rather “cleaning everything up.”
“What I’m doing is a service to this country. And I did a great service to this country by firing James Comey…A lot of people have said it.”
Asked about tomorrow’s meeting with Nunes, Gowdy, Ed O’Callighan, Christopher Wray and Dan Coats, Trump insisted “everybody wants this solved,” adding, “a lot of bad things have happened.” He insisted they’re “all going to be in the room tomorrow” and “what I want is total transparency” adding that “even” Democrats “want transparency” at this meeting that he insisted “supersedes a party.”
No Democrats have been invited to tomorrow’s meetings, though several have said a Dem should attend.
No reporter asked Trump about that.