TRUMP: "My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!" — tweet Friday and retweet Saturday.
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019
THE FACTS: It wasn't treason. Indeed, his officials have said they have no specific evidence that anything illegal was done when the Trump campaign came under FBI surveillance that was approved by a court.
Treason only occurs when a U.S. citizen, or a non-citizen on U.S. territory, wages war against the country or provides material support to a declared enemy of the United States. Nothing of that sort has been alleged, let alone anything illegal in the surveillance.
FBI Director Chris Wray told Congress this month that he did not consider the FBI surveillance to be "spying" and that he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Trump's campaign during the 2016 election. Wray said he would not describe the FBI's surveillance as "spying" if it's following "investigative policies and procedures." His comments irritated Trump.
Attorney General William Barr has said he believed "spying" did occur, but he also made clear at a Senate hearing last month that he had no specific evidence to cite that any surveillance was illegal or improper.
The FBI obtained a secret surveillance warrant in 2016 to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. The New York Times also reported that the FBI used a woman posing as a research assistant to approach ex-Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who had earlier been told by a Maltese professor that Russia had "dirt" on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of stolen emails.
PUTIN: "However exotic the work of special counsel Mueller was, I have to say that on the whole, he has had a very objective investigation, and he confirmed that there were no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration, which we said was absolutely fake." — remarks Tuesday before a private meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Sochi, Russia.
THE FACTS: Putin is wrong about the Mueller report in regards to its findings of "collusion."
The Mueller report and other scrutiny revealed a multitude of meetings between Trump associates and Russians. Among them: Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on Hillary Clinton.
On collusion, Mueller said he did not assess whether that occurred because it is not a legal term.
He looked into a potential criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and said the investigation did not collect sufficient evidence to establish criminal charges on that front.
Mueller noted some Trump campaign officials had declined to testify under the Fifth Amendment or had provided false or incomplete testimony, making it difficult to get a complete picture of what happened during the 2016 campaign. The special counsel wrote that he "cannot rule out the possibility" that unavailable information could have cast a different light on the investigation's findings.
Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Christopher Rugaber and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.
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