Trump Is Now Fundraising Off Conspiracy Theory That FBI “Infiltrated” His Campaign

Really.

Ron Sachs/ZUMA

President Donald Trump’s longstanding frustrations with the ongoing Russia investigations hit a new level Sunday, when he announced over social media that he intended to order the Justice Department investigate claims that the FBI may have wrongly “infiltrated” his presidential campaign for political purposes.

Despite criticism that Trump was inappropriately intervening in Justice Department affairs, the president’s reelection campaign saw the order as an opportunity for a new fundraising initiative. On Monday, they sent out an email quoting the Sunday evening tweet and inviting supporters to join in “demanding this abuse of power gets investigated.” The email was sent just as the White House confirmed that Trump was meeting with FBI director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Monday afternoon.

In recent days, Trump, along with Rudy Giuliani and conservative talking heads, have misrepresented reports late last week that an FBI informant may have illegally spied on the Trump campaign. In reality, the reports in the Washington Post and New York Times say something entirely different, that an informant made contact with Trump campaign advisers in order to investigate the campaign’s ties to Russia. The informant was never “embedded” in the campaign, contrary to Trump’s claims.

The presidential order on Sunday followed a slew of erratic, angry tweets over the weekend lashing out at a separate Times report revealing that a second meeting at Trump Tower took place months before the election. The Times wrote the meeting involved loyal Trump associates, including the president’s eldest son and former Blackwater head Erik Prince, and officials representing the United Arab Emirates who offered to help Trump’s campaign.

According to the Times, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been looking into the previously unreported meeting.

Somehow, Trump used the report as evidence against the special counsel. He also used it as a jumping off point to resurrect the controversy over Hillary Clinton’s email server, before eventually landing on his Sunday evening demand to order the Justice Department around.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate