A high-ranking Republican Republican, who attended a high-level Justice Department hearing last week, said on Tuesday that the FBI acted correctly when it used an informant to gather information from advisors to President Donald Trump's campaign in 2016 to collect.
Rep Trey Gowdy (RS.C.) said last week's briefing, convened by the Department of Justice at Trump's urging, further convinced him that the FBI's information-gathering steps were appropriate.
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"I'm even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would expect of them if they did. They got the information they got," he said he in an interview on Fox News. He added that the information also indicated that the effort had "nothing to do with Donald Trump."
Recent reports indicate that an FBI informant – a former academic working in several presidential administrations – contacted several members of Trump's foreign affairs team, including advisors Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Trump has picked up this news to suggest nefarious surveillance, but Justice Department officials say that informants are a staple of counter-intelligence investigations, as the FBI had begun to investigate Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
Gowdy said he understood Trump. Frustration on public rhetoric about Russia's investigation by Democrats and intelligence officials, such as former FBI director James Comey and former CIA director John Brennan. But he noted that the current top officials in the agencies, including FBI director Chris Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, are "now Trump appointees."
Gowdy's comments are a major setback to the president and his allies that the FBI's use of an informant was explosive political evidence that the Obama administration installed a spy in his campaign – an indictment backed by no available evidence has been.
According to Gowdy, the classified details also break the theory. In fact, he said, the FBI's actions supported what Trump himself sometimes called for: Investigators are pursuing any attempt by Russia to limit its campaign and Kremlin's efforts to interfere in the elections.
"It looks to me like the FBI is doing what President Trump said:" I want you to do it, find out, "Gowdy said, adding," President Trump himself in the Memos of Comey said, "If anyone associated with my campaign is working with Russia, I want you to investigate it." Sounds to me just like the FBI. "
Moments After Gowdy's interview, Trump stepped up to a rally in Nashville, Tennessee, insisting that his campaign was "infiltrated" by political opponents, and reiterated the claim that he has ameliorated in recent weeks in an effort to undercut Special Adviser Robert Muller's Investigation
Gowdy , a member of the House's intelligence committee, was one of the main speakers of the House on the most sensitive aspects of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections – and he was envoy to the committee and there s House leadership at meetings between senior Justice Department officials on allegations by Trump and allies of FBI misconduct in the 2016 election.
Gowdy also urged Trump, in front of Mueller, No. that all the information he has seen so far suggests that the president is not a target of the investigation so far.
"If he were my client … I would say, if you did not do anything wrong, then you have to sit down with Müller," he said.
Gowdy said that Trump's repeated statements about a "spy" in his election campaign were yet another opportunity for Mueller to question his facts.
"The president should have access to the best legal forces in the country," he said. "I think he should take advantage of these benefits."
Two of the Trump campaign officers addressed by the FBI informant – Page and Sam Clovis – appeared on Fox News Tuesday evening. Asked by Sean Hannity if he had been approached by a "spy," Page replied, "I'm not sure, Sean."
Clovis reported that he received the information service on September 1, 2016, but said the informant did not pump it for information. He said instead that the informant wanted to get in touch with Papadopoulos, whose interactions presumably led to the opening of the FBI investigation in Russia
Papadopoulos reportedly told an Australian diplomat in April 2016 that the Russians had derogatory material as Trump's democratic opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton, a tip that was forwarded to the FBI two months later. This tip was the basis for the FBI's counter-intelligence investigation by FBI FBI agents.