Stop It. Stefan Halper Wasn’t Spying on Trump

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Why is Donald Trump using the word SPY every ten minutes or so even though there’s zero evidence that Stefan Halper was spying in any normal definition of the word? A friend of Trump explains:

Trump told one ally this week that he wanted “to brand” the informant a “spy,” believing the more nefarious term would resonate more in the media and with the public. He went on to debut the term “Spygate” on Wednesday, despite its previous associations with a 2007 NFL scandal over videotaping coaches.

I’m pretty sure we all knew this, didn’t we? Just like his use of wiretap last year. But it will achieve its purpose. Conservative media now has its marching orders, and soon enough the rest of the media will follow up with thumbsuckers titled “When Is a Spy Not a Spy?” or “The Spy Who Wasn’t” or “Stop It. Stefan Halper Wasn’t Spying on Trump.” Plus there will be 2,000-word explainers galore from national security reporters about how professionals use the word spy and why Trump is wrong to use it.

And that’s fine. All that matters to Trump is that it gets lots of play. Why, this post has already repeated the word spy nine time. Oops. Ten times. It’ll be about ten thousand before this is over, and that’s all most of the public will remember about it.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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