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Trump accidentally demystifies his own theory of FBI plot

In an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, President Donald Trump broke the conspiracy theory that he pleaded about how the Obama-era FBI leaders would have conspired to prevent him from winning. elections of 2016.

After Trump called the FBI top officials "lowlives," he claimed that the entire investigation into Russian interference and the role of his campaign in this operation was "a configuration" that President Barack Obama "had to know," and referred to an August 2016 text message in which Peter Strzok, then an FBI agent, spoke of an "insurance policy", asked him a crucial issue.

"If they were determined to prevent you from becoming president, why would not they run away from it before?", He said.

But instead of pushing back, Trump acknowledged that Stephanopoulos' premise was correct.

"You know what, you have to ask them," said Trump. "And you know what – if it had been released before the elections, I did not think I would have had time to defend myself."

In other words, even Trump agrees that if the highest officials of the FBI had revealed that the contacts of the Trump campaign with Russia were the subject of an investigation in the months leading up to the elections that would probably have been fatal to his presidential hopes.

But that did not happen. Instead, FBI director James Comey had repeatedly reported Hillary Clinton's email investigation, while Trump's confidant Rudy Giuliani appeared to have been leaked. Two days before Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing the reopening of the Clinton email folder, Giuliani spoke to Fox News and said that Comey had "a surprise or two that you will hear about in the next two days". Giuliani later admitted to having been warned of the "surprise".

In short, the 2016 event timeline suggests that the FBI's actions were really positive for the Trump campaign, not negative. But this reality is not practical for Trump, so he tries to rewrite history – in more ways than one.

The FBI actually had good reason to launch a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign

Not only is there no evidence that the FBI tried to derail Trump's candidacy for president with leaks or any other way, but it should be noted that the office officials had good reason to investigate. on Trump.

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into Trump's contacts with Russian agents in July 2016, after Britain's top diplomat in Britain informed his American counterparts of a conversation he had had two month ago with George Papadopoulos, Trump's foreign policy advisor.

During a night of heavy drinking in London, Papadopoulos boasted that the Australian knew that Russia had accused Hillary Clinton of "politicizing politically" under the form of "thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in order to try to hurt her campaign", as the New York Times wrote in a December 2017 report.

You do not have to believe the words of The Times. Even the so-called "Memo NunesPrepared by Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House's Intelligence Committee and a fervent ally of Trump, released early last year, acknowledges the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign as "sets off"By evidence presented to US authorities that Papadopoulos had secret contacts with Kremlin agents when he was released about a year ago.

But Trump and his allies have tried to blur the trail of the origins of the Russia inquiry by insisting that it started with the Steele dossier, an unverified opposition research paper that includes assertions outrageous the Russian government records Trump watching prostitutes urinate on a hotel bed in Moscow in 2013. Fox News helped Trump normalize this lie and Trump supporters continued to make it heard in national TV interviews – including as recently as Sunday, when Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) l? had done during an appearance on television. Meet the press.

Even though the Nunes memo and the Mueller report acknowledge that the investigation into Russia began when Papadopoulos boasted of his intimate knowledge of what the Russian hackers had learned, the efforts of Trump and his allies to question it have had an impact. There are numerous ongoing investigations into the origins of the investigation conducted in Russia. In his testimony before the Senate last month, Attorney General William Barr suggested, without evidence, there is more to the story than what has been publicly revealed so far.

Trump and his allies struggle with tough interviewers

The gaping hole in the Trident's FBI plot theory, which Stephanopoulos identified in his questions, has long been a Trump ally that he has trouble explaining, at least in contexts where interlocutors are willing to challenge them. . For example, in an interview at the end of 2017, CNN animator, John Berman, quickly criticized the representative, Jim Jordan (R-OH), who echoed Trump and asserted that the FBI had planned.

"You think that James Comey – he went to the FBI summit – to prevent Donald Trump from being president," Berman said. "If that is true, why did he again open Hillary Clinton 's e – mail inquiry, without even telling us before the election the investigation of Hillary Clinton' s e – mails? Investigating the alleged Trump collusion? s he was trying to prevent Donald Trump from getting elected, do not you think he could tell the voters? "

All Jordan could say to Berman was "we'll know" – a response as lame as the "you should ask them," offered Trump to Stephanopoulos.

The new advance quickly. To stay up to date, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more Political and political coverage of Vox.

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