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Splitting Hairs: Comey Says Electronic Surveillance Isn’t the Same as Spying

Comey declares that electronic surveillance is not the same as spying, gives no proof.

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Comey Electronic Surveillance Not Spying

During an appearance on CNN, the disgraced former FBI director claimed that “electronic surveillance” is not the same as “spying” in response to Attorney General Bill Barr’s Congressional testimony earlier this week.

James Comey appeared on CNN yesterday to split hairs regarding the spying accusation raised by Barr during his second day of Congressional testimony. Barr made clear that he believes “spying did occur,” and that he has started an investigation into the matter, though questions remain as to whether it was done legally or as part of an extralegal fishing expedition to find dirt on or sabotage President Donald J. Trump’s campaign.

Comey seemingly admitted that “electronic surveillance” did occur, but objected to use of the term “spying” during the interview.

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“With respect to Barr’s comments, I really don’t know what he’s talking about when he talks about spying on the campaign,” said Comey. “It’s concerning, because the FBI and the department of justice conduct court ordered electronic surveillance.”

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“I have never thought of that as spying.”

While Big League Politics will leave these definitions to the legal experts, in Cornell Law School’s definition of “electronic surveillance,” they offer several examples consider what most Americans would consider spying.

According to the school, “wiretapping, bugging, videotaping; geolocation tracking such as via RFID, GPS, or cell-site data; data mining, social media mapping, and the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet” are all examples of “electronic surveillance.”

Ironically, President Trump was derided for declaring that President Obama had his “wires tapped” on Twitter in 2017. Comey seems to admit this type of “electronic surveillance” occurred, though stops short of clarifying what types were used.

At this point, regardless of the nomenclature, it only remains to be seen whether the FISA warrant used to gather “electronic surveillance” or to “spy” on President Trump’s campaign was legal, or simply an effort to gain intelligence on failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s competition.

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Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Hits All Time High in Fox News Poll

Americans are uniting around the President during the epidemic.

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President Donald Trump’s approval rating has hit an all time high in a Fox News poll released Thursday, suggesting the President has united new demographics of Americans behind his leadership during the Chinese coronavirus epidemic.

The poll shows Trump’s approval rating at 49%. 48% approved two weeks ago, and 47% of Americans approved of his job performance in late February.

The President’s approval ratings pertaining directly to the coronavirus epidemic are even better, with 51% of Americans stating he’s done a good job responding to the historically unprecedented event. The poll was conducted through phone calls to 1,107 registered voters nationwide

When asked about the federal response to the virus, only 4% of Americans stated that the government is “overreacting.” This suggests that the public is aware of the need for the disruptions to everyday life, even though the closure of businesses and social distancing has caused significant harm to the economy.

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National polling has consistently demonstrated rising approval ratings for the President throughout the coronavirus epidemic. Earlier Pew polling revealed that 95% of Americans support the President’s life-saving early travel bans on China and Europe, a pandemic policy stance that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden only got behind earlier this week.

21% of poll respondents state that they personally know someone who has the coronavirus, a statistic that speaks to the community spread of the novel disease in the United States. 94% of Americans describe themselves as concerned over the spread of the virus in the country. 57% of the public describes the United States as moving in the right direction in controlling the virus, whereas 30% disagree.

Certainly there’s a discussion to be had about balancing the need to protect public health and to advert harm to the economy. But the poll indicates that the public widely supports the measures taken to blunt the spread of the coronavirus.

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