The Associated Press reports:
President Donald Trump has branded his latest attempt to discredit the special counsel’s Russia investigation as “spygate,” part of a newly invigorated strategy embraced by his Republican colleagues to raise suspicions about the probe that has dogged his presidency since the start.
Trump now is zeroing in on — and at times embellishing — reports that a longtime U.S. government informant approached members of his 2016 campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.
Trump has told confidants in recent days that the revelation of an informant was potential evidence that the upper echelon of federal law enforcement has conspired against him, according to three people familiar with his recent conversations but not authorized to discuss them publicly. 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.