Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., accused the Obama administration’s intelligence community of having “spies” infiltrate the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
Paul claimed that a “source” shared with him the Justice Department’s attempts to retrieve information on the Trump campaign during the Obama administration. In particular, Paul alleged that former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and FBI Director James Comey “sent spies” to get information on the Trump campaign after they received the so-called Trump dossier.
The document contains salacious information about President Trump and his relationship with Russia.
“Well, my source tells me that the intelligence community, Obama’s intelligence community, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, they were frustrated because they had this Russian dossier but nobody believed it was real,” Paul said during an interview on Fox News on Thursday.
Former British spy Christopher Steele composed the dossier after being hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS. A lawyer for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee had hired the firm to conduct anti-Trump research.
“It wasn’t verifiable, they couldn’t get anything out of it,” Paul said. “So they sent spies into the Trump campaign, they tried to entrap Trump officials to admit they were working with Russia. That wasn’t working, so they were frustrated.”
“But they wanted to somehow get this information out – this Russian dossier … So finally they decided … what we have to do is attach this dossier, this fake dossier, to an intelligence report [given to Obama],” Paul said.
[ Opinion: Years later, Trump dossier still frustrates verification efforts]
Although Trump has claimed that his campaign was spied upon and misquoted Clapper for saying his campaign was spied upon, Clapper has denied the intelligence community ever spied on the Trump campaign.
“No, we did not. And that is – that is a distortion of what I said. In fact, I had an aversion to the use of the term and thought I made that clear,” Clapper said during an interview with CNN last year.
Rather, Clapper said that the intelligence community was trying to examine whether the Russians were seeking to gain access or infiltrate a campaign – regardless of political party.
“And it had nothing to do with spying on the campaign, it was about the Russians which is what we should all be concerned about, to include Trump,” Clapper said.