As President Donald Trump on Tuesday was again denouncing the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and possible ties to his campaign, a key Republican who saw documents last week about the probe said the review showed no misconduct by the FBI, and that investigators were doing exactly what they should have been doing – trying to figure out what Russia was doing to meddle with the American elections.
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do, when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
One of a handful of lawmakers who reviewed sensitive FBI documents on the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, Gowdy swatted away talk by the President that his campaign had been spied on in 2016.
“President Trump himself – in the Comey memos – said, if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it,” Gowdy said in an interview on Fox News. “And it sounds to me, that is exactly what the FBI did.”
Gowdy said the FBI wasn’t going after President Trump, but instead conducting a counter-intelligence investigation to see what Russia was trying to do.
“I think when the President finds out what happened, he’s going to be not just fine, he’s going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard,” Gowdy said. “He was never the target – Russia was the target.”
Not long after Gowdy appeared on Fox News, President Trump was holding a campaign rally in Nashville, Tennessee, where he drew big cheers as he slammed the FBI, again making the case that the feds had been out to get him during the 2016 campaign.
“How do you like the fact they had people infiltrating our campaign?” the President asked, as the crowd cheered him on, and Mr. Trump turned up the heat on the FBI for a fourth straight day on Twitter.
For days, Mr. Trump has railed against the FBI’s use of an informant to check out several Trump aides, who seemed to have Russian contacts, calling it “Spygate.”
Democrats have scoffed at the President’s charges, arguing that it’s nothing more than an effort to divert attention away from the investigation into Russian interference in 2016, and any possible obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump.
“The evidence that President Trump sought to interfere with the Russia investigation continues to mount,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.