Former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy suggested that the FBI gave preferential treatment to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016 when advising the presidential candidates on how to deal with the threat posed by foreign actors.
During a Sunday interview on Fox News, Gowdy referenced how the campaigns of both Clinton and then-candidate Donald Trump received counterintelligence “defensive” briefings, but claimed they were not the same. Gowdy said the FBI provided “two different kinds of defensive briefings to candidates depending on who you like and who you don’t,” and coupled with how the FBI withheld transcript material from the FISA court, “then your bias begins to impact the investigation.”
Prior to Gowdy’s assertion on this week’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” there had not been any indication that Trump’s briefing was different than Clinton’s.
Gregory Brower, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs, wrote Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in October 2017 to confirm “an experienced FBI counterintelligence agent” provided a defensive briefing to Trump in August 2016 “focused on the broad range of threats posed by foreign intelligence entities.” The letter said “[s]imilar briefings” were also provided to Clinton and the two vice presidential candidates prior to the November election, and that campaign staff additionally were briefed.
Republicans, including Gowdy, have long expressed concern about the possibility of politically motivated federal officials working to undermine Trump’s campaign, which was under investigation by the FBI as early as the summer of 2016 for suspected coordination with the Russian government. Giving rise to those fears, for instance, was the revelation that former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged text messages that harbored a starkly negative opinion of Trump. read more