Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper used the word spy while discussing the Trump campaign surveillance scandal in an appearance on Tuesday's The View. Clapper said the spy was there for Russian meddling purposes and that Trump should be happy such a person existed.
President Trump has claimed for months now that his campaign for president was surveilled. Many did not take him seriously, however, last night law professor Jonathan Turley said he was right.
"With the informant business, well, the point here is the Russians," Clapper said. "Not spying on the campaign but what are the Russians doing? And in a sense, unfortunately, what they were trying to do is protect our political system and protect the campaign."
"But the FBI started to look into Trump's ties to Russia in the summer of 2016. Trump tweeted that this spring -- this spying, rather, this spying that he claims is spying, other people say it's a whistleblower or informant. He says it's spying, it's bigger than Watergate. So I ask you, was the FBI spying on Trump's campaign?" Co-host Joy Behar asked.
"No, they were not," Clapper answered. "They were spying on, a term I don't particularly like, but on what the Russians were doing. Trying to understand were the Russians infiltrating, trying to gain access, trying to gain leverage or influence which is what they do."
"Well, why doesn't like that? He should be happy," Behar said.
"He should be," Clapper responded.
"Right," Behar said.
Trump said it would be a "disgrace" and "make every political event ever look like small potatoes" at an Oval Office meeting with South Korean President Moon.
"If they had spies in my campaign for political purposes that would be unprecedented," the president added.