Hillary Clinton Says Trump Is 'Desperately Spinning Up a Fake Scandal' to Distract from His Own 'Misdeeds'

Clinton addressed the so-called "Durham Report" which has been a topic of outrage for Trump and his supporters

Donald Trump; Hillary Clinton
From left: President Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: Getty (2)

Hillary Clinton is hitting back at Donald Trump and Fox News for promoting what she called a "fake scandal."

In a statement released last weekend, Trump claimed there is "indisputable evidence that my campaign and presidency were spied on by operatives paid by the Hillary Clinton Campaign in an effort to develop a completely fabricated connection to Russia."

Trump was referring to a recent court filing by John Durham — a special counsel appointed during his own presidency to investigate the FBI inquiry into Russia's 2016 election interference — which includes assertions that Clinton opponents claim to be proof of spying.

"Trump & Fox are desperately spinning up a fake scandal to distract from his real ones. So it's a day that ends in Y," Clinton tweeted Wednesday, referring to the so-called "Durham Report." "The more his misdeeds are exposed, the more they lie."

Clinton included a link to a Vanity Fair article that she called "a good debunking of their latest nonsense" and invited followers "interested in reality" to give it a read.

Durham is prosecuting lawyer Michael Sussmann, who has ties to the Democratic Party and Clinton's 2016 campaign, for allegedly making a false statement to the FBI during a 2016 meeting about Trump's possible links to Russia, The New York Times reports.

Sussmann has pleaded not guilty in the case and denied any wrongdoing, according to The Hill.

Hillary Clinton; Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton (left), Donald Trump. Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images

The filing — officially the "government's motion to inquire into potential conflicts of interest" — also mentions a 2017 meeting with an unnamed government agency. In that meeting, the filing says, Sussman made allegations against Trump based on information provided by a technology executive whose company had contracts to work on research during the 2016 election campaign and later helped maintain White House servers through "a sensitive arrangement."

Durham alleges that the executive — who reports have identified as Rodney Joffe — "exploited his access to non-public and/or proprietary Internet data" to "mine" for information that would "establish 'an inference' and 'narrative' tying then-candidate Trump to Russia," the filing states.

The filing also claims Durham has evidence that Joffe exploited access to White House and Trump Tower data "for the purpose of gathering derogatory information about Donald Trump."

Based on the filing, Fox News reported that the Clinton campaign "paid" a technology company to "infiltrate" servers at Trump Tower and the White House.

"This is a scandal far greater in scope and magnitude than Watergate and those who were involved in and knew about this spying operation should be subject to criminal prosecution," Trump said in his statement over the weekend. "In a stronger period of time in our country, this crime would have been punishable by death. In addition, reparations should be paid to those in our country who have been damaged by this."

Donald Trump Covid
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His former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also weighed in on Durham's filing.

"They didn't just spy on Donald Trump's campaign. They spied on Donald Trump as sitting President of the United States," he wrote on Twitter. "It was all even worse than we thought."

In a separate tweet, Meadows denounced what he considers the media's unfair treatment of Durham's filing.

"Virtually every baseless Russian collusion allegation against Trump got printed and aired for 4 years. But today there's a fraction of coverage on actual evidence in a Durham indictment pointing to spying on candidate and President Trump," he wrote.

But there's a good reason that most media outlets — Fox News aside — are "debunking" claims of spying, to use Clinton's term.

As the Times reports, the narrative promoted by Trump and his supporters "appeared to be mostly wrong or old news" and is "based on a misleading presentation of the facts or outright misinformation."

Durham never used the word "infiltrate," for example, and never claimed Joffe's company was paid by the Clinton campaign.

Futhermore, "the filing never said the White House data that came under scrutiny was from the Trump era," the Times report adds, citing an expert who said the data came from the presidency of Barack Obama.

A spokesperson for Joffe told the Times the allegations in Durham's filing are untrue, emphasizing that he was a non-political actor who was granted lawful access to data based on contracts in order to keep an eye out for security breaches and other threats.

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