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Giuliani suggests Obama, top intelligence officials knew of 'spygate'

The Hill logo The Hill 5/27/2018 Max Greenwood
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President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani suggested on Sunday that former President Barack Obama and his top intelligence officials "knew" the FBI had used an alleged top-secret informant to spy on Trump's 2016 campaign.

In an interview with radio host John Catsimatidis, Giuliani insisted that former CIA Director John Brennan and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper were aware of the informant.

Giuliani also suggested that Brennan likely briefed Obama himself on the matter.

"Brennan and Clapper knew about it. Brennan briefed him everyday, Obama - well to the extent that he got briefed everyday," Giuliani said. "You would have to have brought this up, wouldn't you? Gosh, I can't see how you would escape it."

Trump and his political allies have raised concerns in recent days that the FBI infiltrated his 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes.

The informant, identified in media reports as American professor Stefan Halper, reportedly met with three Trump campaign advisers - George Papadopoulos, Carter Page and Sam Clovis - during the 2016 presidential race.

But no evidence has emerged that the informant was used to spy on the campaign, much less for political purposes.

Clapper and Brennan have pushed back on Trump's claims, insisting that the informant was used to try to determine what role Russia was playing in the 2016 election.

The U.S. intelligence community released an assessment months after the informant met with campaign advisers that revealed Moscow had meddled in the presidential race to ensure Trump's victory.

Giuliani's comments came after select lawmakers met with top Justice Department officials for a pair of highly classified meetings on Thursday to discuss the FBI's use of the informant.

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