Fmr GOP Strategist: ‘Outright Lie’ that Obama Admin. Spied on the Trump Campaign, It Is ‘Josh Hawley’s Opening Gambit’ for 2024

Fmr GOP Strategist: ‘Outright Lie’ that Obama Admin. Spied on the Trump Campaign, It Is ‘Josh Hawley’s Opening Gambit’ for 2024

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Janet Ybarra
Democrat
Former Washington Journalist
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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Freshman Sen Josh Hawley of Missouri is alleging that Obama administration officials illegally spied on the 2016 Trump campaign and took illegal actions against one-time Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn as part of Hawley’s gambit to win the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, according to author and former Republican strategist Rick Wilson.

The allegations are false, said Wilson, who worked on multiple high-profile GOP congressional and other campaigns before coming out as a strong critic of Donald Trump.

Hawley, who defeated Sen Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in 2018, aired his allegations against the Obama administration in a segment of Fox News.

“The more we learn, the more that we see that the Obama administration took unprecedented action to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, to mislead the FISA court, a secret court where if you are target of an investigation you don’t get to appear before the court, and we know that the Obama FBI deliberately misled the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] FISA court,” Hawley said. “Now we learn about the Flynn nonsense, how they unmasked General Flynn, perhaps breaking protocols in doing so, sharing intelligence that was not supposed to be shared, they supposed to be classified. The more we learn, the worse it looks, which is why we need a full investigation into what went on.”

Hawley’s allegations, however, are political and without merit, Wilson said.

“Look, that is Josh Hawley’s opening gambit for his 2024 presidential campaign. This is a very ambitious man. He is very much trying to seize the control of the Trump voter and the Trump narrative for the future, and he understands that almost everything he said there was either a wild exaggeration or an outright lie,” Wilson said. “This whole idea that there was a conspiracy to deceive the FISA court is not present in the evidence.

“There were deficits in some of the FISA warrants as they are consistently throughout any governmental process, they were not material to the actual pursuit of the fact that the Russians were doing everything they could to get involved to the Trump campaign and the Trump campaign was willing to listen to them.

“And they ended up putting themselves as a target. This wasn’t a conspiracy against Donald Trump because if it was a real conspiracy against Donald Trump by this nefarious old powerful deep state it would have worked,” he added. “And the evidence that Josh presents there is very thin and very flimsy, but that’s all that he needs in this sort of Trump environment. The Trump media circus only requires that you go out and say the most outrageous things you can, get the attention, get the clicks, and move forward.

“So I pretty much dismiss what Josh just said there, and again, this is a very ambitious man. He’s running for president in ‘24. He sees himself as the future of Trumpism, and he is trying to stake out a claim in this by adapting this baroque conspiracy theory of ‘Obamagate’ that the Trump world is so addicted to right now.”

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