The White House Isn't Giving Up On 'Spygate'

President Trump and his allies are pushing back against the notion that “Spygate” — their preferred framing of a key moment in the Trump-Russia investigation — is fading in importance after some frequent defenders of the president cast doubt on the story.

Sources close to the White House contend that surveillance of the Trump campaign remains a legitimate issue and the president was right to demand the Justice Department’s inspector general investigate.

Spygate is Trump’s name for the FBI’s use of at least one confidential informant to make contact with members of his campaign during the 2016 presidential election. “The corrupt Mainstream Media is working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign!” Trump tweeted last week. “Surveillance much?”

The biggest development was House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., one of the nine lawmakers and five Republicans briefed on the issue by the Justice Department at the White House, defending the FBI in an apparent break with GOP legislators who had been raising questions about the Russia probe.

Gowdy won praise from Democrats and typically anti-Trump editorial boards. The Washington Post called him “one senior Republican with enough decency to admit the obvious.” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said there was “still cause for concern” and her deputy Hogan Gidley told reporters aboard Air Force One that Gowdy and Trump agreed “there's still not one shred of information that has anything to do with Russia collusion, obstruction of any kind.”

“Just because one influential Capitol Hill Republican who is about to retire says the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign was kosher, doesn’t make it so,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell. “There are simply too many outstanding questions, ranging from who ordered it to when it was ordered to why it was ordered to why Donald Trump wasn’t briefed about it for Gowdy’s assertions to be accepted as gospel.”

“Let’s also not forget Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, was fired for misconduct,” O’Connell said. “So, the Spygate drumbeat marches on until further notice.”

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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