With “Spygate,” President Donald Trump’s latest foray into presenting suspicion and paranoia as fact, he continues his timeworn pattern of using unfounded narratives to avoid accountability and to shift blame onto people he dislikes, according to a Monday New York Times report.
In this case, Trump has used reports that an FBI official contacted his campaign aides with apparent ties to Russia to conclude, sans evidence, that former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice was carrying out a dastardly scheme to prevent his presidency.
Former aides to Trump told the New York Times that Trump always falls back on conspiracy theories like this partially because of his personal paranoia and partially because they often play well with his base.
Ex-Trump aide Sam Nunberg candidly pointed out the cycle of conspiracy theories peddled by Trump and the few outlets he likes. “In the new media landscape, InfoWars and Fox News are where the President’s getting his support, and these theories are promulgated there,” Mr. Nunberg told the New York Times, though he declined to classify Spygate as a conspiracy theory.
Trump’s unsubstantiated ideas are sometimes given weight by establishment Republicans, making them more powerful. Per the New York Times, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) have both implied that they would like more information on the FBI informant. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) echoed the President’s constant allegations that James Clapper, former director of national intelligence, and James Comey, former FBI director, were biased against him.
Even the briefings given by DOJ officials on Thursday came as a result of Trump’s bashing of the agencies over the informant’s allegedly sinister role.