MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson and Republican congressman Matt Gaetz sparred on Wednesday over allegations that the FBI planted a spy within the 2016 Trump campaign.
Gaetz argued that, regardless of whether the FBI was spying on Trump or simply using an informant to gather information about Russian meddling, using that type of intelligence collection on a political campaign is a “slippery slope.”
“The FBI should not be collecting intelligence on a presidential campaign,” he said. “There’s a slippery slope there, Hallie. Once you go down the road of allowing political opponents to weaponize the intelligence community against each other, that’s bad for Republicans and Democrats.”
Jackson shot back that intelligence officials have called the collection “standard procedure” and asked, “how do you distinguish between a spy … and an informant doing the work of an investigation?”
“What evidence do you have that it was a political rivalry, congressman? I guess that’s what I’m getting at,” she added.
“The evidence I would have is are the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page saying the White House wants to be involved, the White House is running everything,” Gaetz retorted. “If one of the tools that was used was the collection of intelligence … my concern is that that crosses a red line.”