Clapper: The FBI Wasn’t Spying On Trump, It Was “Benign Information Gathering”

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Backpedaling intensifies…

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper – who much like former FBI Director James Comey is peddling a book right now, accused President Trump of twisting his words after a bizarre interview on The View on Tuesday.

When Clapper was asked if the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign, he replied “They were spying on – a term I don’t particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing.” (By sending a spy to perform espionage on several members of the Trump campaign)


When asked by Axios about Trump’s Tweet, Clapper said that the President “deliberately spun it,” likening it to “George Orwell – up is down, black is white, peace is war.” 

But the punchline was Clapper’s “explanation” of what really happened: “I took aversion to the word spy, it was the most benign version of information gathering.”

The important thing is the whole reason the FBI was doing this was concern over what the Russians were doing to infiltrate the campaign, not spying on the campaign. Of course, he turned that completely upside-down in his tweet, as he is wont to do.” -James Clapper

We’re not sure if Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, was trying to be humorous or if he just doesn’t understand what the word “spy” means – as it encompasses all forms of covert information collection, including the use of human intelligence, upstream data collection and all forms of espionage in between.

The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary defines Spy as:

In case that isn’t clear enough for Clapper:



n. pl. spies (spīz)

  1. One who secretly collects information concerning the enemies of a government or group.
  2. One who secretly collects information for a business about one or more of its competitors.
  3. One who secretly keeps watch on another or others.

v. spied (spīd), spy·ingspies (spīz)

  1. To watch or observe secretly: was sent to spy out the enemy camp.
  2. To discover by close observation: “[They] are continually prowling about on all three decks, eager to spy outiniquities” (Herman Melville).
  3. To catch sight of; see: spied the ship on the horizon.


  1. To engage in espionage.
  2. To investigate or observe something, especially in secret: spying into the neighbor’s activities.

Here’s an even simpler explanation:

73-year-old Cambridge professor, Stefan Halper was notably outed as the FBI’s “informant” last Friday following weeks of speculation, after the New York Times and Washington Post published easily identifiable information about the U.S. citizen and Cambridge professor. Their reports matched a March 25 article by the Daily Caller detailing Halper’s outreach to several low-level aides to the Trump campaign, including Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and a cup of coffee with campaign co-chair Sam Clovis.

These contacts are made even more significant by the fact that Halper’s infiltration of the Trump campaign corresponds with the two of the four targets of the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane – in which the agency sent counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and others to a London meeting in the Summer of 2016 with former Australian diplomat Alexander Downer – who says Papadopoulos drunkenly admitted to knowing that the Russians had Hillary Clinton’s emails.


Halper also secured contracts for over $1 million by the Obama Department of Defense for “research” projects dating back to 2012. The most recent award to Halper for $411,575 was made in two payments, and had a start date of September 26, 2016 – three days after a September 23 Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff about Trump aide Carter Page, which used information fed to Isikoff by “pissgate” dossier creator Christopher Steele. The FBI would use the Yahoo! article along with the unverified “pissgate” dossier as supporting evidence in an FISA warrant application for Page.

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