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.

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Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

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