Trump: If FBI spied on my campaign, 'bigger than Watergate!' - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Trump: If FBI spied on my campaign, 'bigger than Watergate!'

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). In this May 5, 2018 photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, applauds at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt in Washington. Giuliani’s decision to join President D... (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik). In this May 5, 2018 photo, Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, applauds at the Iran Freedom Convention for Human Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt in Washington. Giuliani’s decision to join President D...

By DARLENE SUPERVILLE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump lent credence Thursday to reports that FBI informants had infiltrated his presidential campaign, saying that "if so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

Trump made the comment on the anniversary of Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel to head the Justice Department investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump campaign official. Trump has repeatedly called the investigation a "witch hunt."

"Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI 'SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT,'" Trump tweeted. "Andrew McCarthy says, 'There's probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.' If so, this is bigger than Watergate!"

McCarthy, a contributing editor at the National Review, wrote an article published last week headlined "Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?"

The New York Times reported separately this week that at least one government informant met several times with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, both former foreign policy advisers on Trump's Republican campaign. The newspaper attributed the information to current and former FBI officials.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said if the reports are proved true, "it should certainly be looked into."

The Watergate scandal in the early 1970s occurred following a break-in by five men at Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate building in Washington and subsequent attempts by the administration of President Richard Nixon to hide its involvement. Nixon, a Republican, ultimately resigned from office as a result of the ensuing investigation.

Meanwhile, Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani said that the president still wants to testify in the Russia probe.

Speaking Thursday on "Fox and Friends," the former New York mayor said Trump will only sit down with Mueller if "we feel there's a way to shorten this thing." He added that Trump remains eager to offer his "side of the case."

Giuliani has been urging Mueller's team to wrap up the investigation now that the probe has reached the one-year mark.

Giuliani's team has been weighing whether to allow Trump to sit for an interview with Mueller. He said the legal team is "pretty comfortable, in the circumstances of this case, that they wouldn't be able to subpoena him personally."

While the Supreme Court has never definitively ruled on the subject, it appears that a sitting president could be forced to testify. In 1974, justices held unanimously that a president could be compelled to comply with a subpoena for tapes and documents.

If Trump were subpoenaed and did not want to testify, he could always invoke his constitutional right not to testify against himself and decline to answer questions. But that act would pose significant political risk.

Giuliani also repeated that Mueller's team has indicated it would not attempt to indict Trump, as he told The Associated Press on Friday. Justice Department legal opinions from 1973 and 2000 have suggested that a sitting president is immune from indictment and that criminal charges would undermine the commander in chief's ability to do the job.

Giuliani told Fox News Channel's Laura Ingraham on Wednesday that Mueller "has all the facts to make a decision" after 12 months investigating Russian meddling in the election and possible collusion with Trump's campaign.

"Mueller should now bring this to a close," said Giuliani. "It's been a year. He's gotten 1.4 million documents, he's interviewed 28 witnesses. And he has nothing, which is why he wants to bring the president into an interview."

"It's about time to say enough. We've tortured this president enough," he added, describing the investigation as being "like a big weight" on the president's back.

So far, the special counsel's office has charged 19 people - including four Trump campaign advisers - and three Russian companies. Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and his deputy campaign chairman, Rick Gates, have pleaded guilty and are now cooperating with the probe.

Trump, however, has panned it as a "witch hunt" intended to discredit his presidency and has insisted that Russia had nothing to do with his winning campaign.

Giuliani, who is working for the president pro bono, said Wednesday that the probe "is not good for the American people, and the special counsel's office doesn't seem to have that sort of understanding that they're interfering with things that are much bigger than them."

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • Texas school gunman: 'I'm going to kill you.' Then he fired

    Texas school gunman: 'I'm going to kill you.' Then he fired

    Saturday, May 19 2018 11:51 PM EDT2018-05-20 03:51:30 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 10:02 AM EDT2018-05-20 14:02:38 GMT
    (Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...(Jennifer Reynolds/The Galveston County Daily News via AP). April Salinas, second from right, her daughters Meah, 13, and Macee, 6, and Jeramiah Kelley read notes left at memorial behind Texas First Bank, Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Santa Fe, Texas. A gu...

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>

    The mother of one slain student said her daughter may have been targeted because she rejected advances from the suspect, who was an ex-boyfriend of her daughter's best friend.

    More >>
  • Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

    Family, friends recall shooting victims' optimism, humor

    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:05 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:05:04 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 10:02 AM EDT2018-05-20 14:02:05 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...(AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...
    Among the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at a Texas high school were a Pakistani exchange student, a substitute teacher with a "lust for life" and a boy whose sense of humor made him impossible to not like.More >>
    Among the 10 people killed in the mass shooting at a Texas high school were a Pakistani exchange student, a substitute teacher with a "lust for life" and a boy whose sense of humor made him impossible to not like.More >>
  • Police search for motive in Texas school shooting

    Police search for motive in Texas school shooting

    Sunday, May 20 2018 12:06 AM EDT2018-05-20 04:06:13 GMT
    Sunday, May 20 2018 8:54 AM EDT2018-05-20 12:54:59 GMT
    (Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly schoo...(Galveston County Sheriff's Office via AP). This photo provided by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office shows Dimitrios Pagourtzis, who law enforcement officials took into custody Friday, May 18, 2018, and identified as the suspect in the deadly schoo...

    A junior at Santa Fe High hid a shotgun and a handgun under his trenchcoat before opening fire in a first-period art class on Friday, according to an affidavit filed by police.

    More >>

    A junior at Santa Fe High hid a shotgun and a handgun under his trenchcoat before opening fire in a first-period art class on Friday, according to an affidavit filed by police.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly