Trump took to Twitter, as usual, to sound off his opinions. Early Wednesday morning, the president said that “SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!” He was referring to the Russian investigation, but the comment left some NFL fans confused. That’s because back in 2007, the head coach of the New England Patriots was caught spying on his rivals, the New York Jets. The coach, Bill Belichick, was fined $500,000 when people found out that he was filming the defensive signals to gain insider information about the team’s tactics, reported NESN.
But now, Trump’s tweet has forced the term “Spygate” to be redefined. And because his news is more relevant, the NFL version of “Spygate” is now referred to as “Spygate (NFL)”. For some fans who are not supporters of Trump, the refusal to acknowledge his version of “Spygate” is just another form of small protest.
The term “Spygate” is being used by Trump to call out what he believes is a conspiracy against him by the Deep State, detailed the BBC. And the Twitter post on Wednesday morning referred to the new information that was revealed that there was a secret FBI informant that met with Trump aides. The informant is believed to be Stefan A Halper, a professor emeritus from the University of Cambridge. Now 73-years-old, the insider worked to find information about Russian ties among Trump’s campaign team.
Information about Halper was first leaked by the Daily Caller. Halper reportedly met with Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, and Sam Clovis. The three were targeted for varying levels of suspected ties to Russia. For Page, it was a prior relationship with Russian intelligence agents. Papadopoulos once said the Russians had information about Hillary Clinton that would paint her in a negative light.
Those who support Halper say that it’s a joke to imagine him to be a “spy.” TheWashington Post’s David Ignatius said, “Those who know Halper describe someone closer to a gregarious busybody and academic eccentric – an intellectual who jostles for first billing on a book cover – than a mole burrowing toward Trump’s inner circle.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers met with the FBI and Justice Department to discuss Trump’s allegations about the “Spygate,” according to Fox News. Adam Schiff from the Intelligence Committee said, “Nothing we heard today has changed our view that there is no evidence to support any allegation that the FBI or any intelligence agency placed a spy in the Trump campaign or otherwise failed to follow appropriate procedures and protocols.”
On the other hand, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes explained, “Inherent in the committee’s work is the responsibility to ask tough questions of the executive branch… That is why we have insisted and will continue to insist on Congress’s constitutional right to information necessary for the conduct of oversight.”