No, Trump was not spied on by FBI
James Comey clears the air about Trump's charges that the FBI employed people to spy on his campaign. As always, Mr. Comey is totally upright and honest with the American public.
Washington (CNN)Former FBI Director James Comey pushed back on President Donald Trump's spying claims on Wednesday, warning that attacking the FBI "will do lasting damage to our country."
In a tweet that did not address the President by name, the former FBI director wrote, "Facts matter. The FBI's use of Confidential Human Sources (the actual term) is tightly regulated and essential to protecting the country. Attacks on the FBI and lying about its work will do lasting damage to our country. How will Republicans explain this to their grandchildren?"
By the way, what is a Confidential Human Source, anyway? Here's how the Assistant Director, Director of Intelligence for the FBI, Walter M. Murphy, used the term back in his 2007 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security.
As the Assistant Director for the FBI’s Directorate of Intelligence, I am responsible for coordinating and establishing standards for human source development, source validation and evaluation, and targeting and exploitation across the FBI and ensuring standards are met. I set the framework in place for policies and procedures that translate our authorities and the direction set forth by the Attorney General, into guidance upon which we spot, assess, recruit, sustain, and validate FBI human sources. [...]
[T]he FBI has worked closely with our intelligence community counterparts to ensure we are building standards that will meet or exceed the expectations established for the intelligence community regarding the handling of human sources. The FBI recently developed a comprehensive human intelligence (HUMINT) development and collection course to significantly enhance our ability to .
If you are still confused after that, I wouldn't blame you, but if you examine what he said closely, you can see that a "Confidential Human Source" is a euphemism for "spy." Confidential Human Sources, according to the FBI Director of Intelligence, are . Then they are . and . Then they must be . The intelligence they provide must be .
What he didn't say was that they are confidential informants that the FBI authorized to break the law over "22,800 times" between 2011 and 2014 (yes, during the Obama administration). Guess what is another word commonly used as the equivalent of an "informant." It's "spy." Also, spook, mole, inside agent ... well, you get the idea. By the way, here is how Dictionary.com defines a spy:
... a person who seeks to obtain confidential information about the activities, plans, methods, etc., of an organization or person ...
So, James Comey is "technically" telling the truth when he tells us that the term used by the FBI for the people used by the FBI to spy on Trump's campaign are formally called "Confidential Human Sources." But that's just a fancy way to avoid stating the obvious: that the FBI was using people to spy on the activities of those employed by Trump and his campaign in his run for office. If you're the Washington Post, you refer to this spy as a "secret intelligence source," but the truth is our intelligence agencies did spy on Trump's campaign, despite Mr. Comey's disingenuous denials.
We now know the name of at least one the FBI's "Confidential Human Sources" - Stefan Halper, a man with an extremely shady past as an intelligence operative.
To begin with, it’s obviously notable that the person the FBI used to monitor the Trump campaign is the same person who worked as a CIA operative running that 1980 Presidential election spying campaign. [...]
The NYT in 1983 said the Reagan campaign spying operation “involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive.” The article, by then-NYT reporter Leslie Gelb, added that its “sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge.” Halper, now 73, had also worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig as part of the Nixon administration.
Regardless of you opinion of Trump, this is seriously dangerous activity by our intelligence community that threatens the integrity of our government, and has for apparently decades. But then, anyone familiar with the history of the CIA and FBI would not be surprised in the least to see these organizations interfering in US elections in order to obtain leverage over whomever the American people choose to serve as our elected officials. That so few people, especially in the media, are disturbed by this behavior by our intelligence community simply because the odious figure of Trump was its target is further proof we do not have a democracy, not in the true sense of that term, and haven't for a very long time.