Fox Contributor Suggests Chris Wray Is Lying About ‘Spying’ Because He’s ‘Afraid’ FBI Agents Won’t Support Him

Fox Contributor Suggests Chris Wray Is Lying About ‘Spying’ Because He’s ‘Afraid’ FBI Agents Won’t Support Him

Raise your hand if you thought we would spend 2019 locked in an existential argument over the meaning of the word “spying.”

But that is where the political class has ended up, as evidenced by a segment on Fox’s Outnumbered that aired on Friday.

The discussion took off from a comment Attorney General Bill Barr made in his interview with Bill Hemmer Friday morning. In a nod to the conspiracy theorists of the right, Barr said he wants to investigate whether the Russia investigation was started for legitimate reasons or whether it was a political hit job on Trump by law enforcement.

Lawrence Jones, the male guest of the day, fairly clearly came down on the latter side: “I’ve got to ask the Democrats, when you see something like this…do you think that’s okay? These interactions of deleting emails, spying on the president, clearly covering up something. Is that okay?”

First, Trump was not the president when the Russia investigation began in 2016, so right away Jones is putting forth a false premise. Second, FBI Director Christopher Wray publicly tried to clear this up just a few days ago when he told a Senate subcommittee that people might use “spying” as a colloquialism to describe surveillance in an investigation, but it is a “loaded” word.

Jessica Tarlov tried to argue with Jones, noting that Wray had said the Russia investigation was “a legitimate counterintelligence investigation.” Jones then said he was not trying to smear every FBI agent, but that the FBI’s leadership has illegally spied on Americans before.

A moment later, Jones accused Wray of covering for the “rank-and-file” FBI agents, lest they begin distrusting him and impair his ability to run the Bureau.

So if you are keeping track, Jones first accused the FBI of illegally spying on Trump, then said he didn’t want to smear the rank-and-file agents, then accused the FBI director of covering for the rank-and-file agents, then blamed the alleged spying on FBI leadership. Clear?

Watch the clip above, via Fox News.

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.