Former FBI Director James Comey said President Donald Trump’s recent claims that the FBI improperly spied on the Trump campaign were baseless during an interview with late night talk show host Conan O’Brien.
“As best I can tell, it’s made up. I don’t know where he’s getting that from, honestly,” Comey said.
The former director added that he could not find it possible that his former employer planted an informant, adding: “I know it not to be true.”
Earlier the same day Trump tweeted that individuals paid a large sum of money to place a spy within his campaign and labeled his theory of espionage as “spygate.”
“Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign. Large dollars were paid to the Spy, far beyond normal. Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in U.S. history. SPYGATE – a terrible thing!” Trump wrote.
Members of the administration claim that an informant met with several key players like Carter Page and George Papadopolis to retrieve private information as part of larger effort to aid special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe. The president has said that, if true, this would be “the all-time biggest political scandal” and “bigger than Watergate!”
An independent investigator from the Department of Justice responded to directives from the president to determine if there is any credence to the unsubstantiated claim. Trump took aim at Comey earlier this week, tweeting that the former director was a “terrible and corrupt leader” who “inflicted great pain” on the FBI.
Comey pushed back on Trump’s comments during his interview and speculated that Trump and his administration will drop their fascination with the “deep state’ and move onto another scandal in the coming weeks.
“My guess is two weeks from now it’ll be something different than this,” Comey said.