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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
Swalwell Suggests Trump Is Behind BLOCKBUSTER Axios Report
IT'S TRUMP'S FAULT?
Swalwell was previously outspoken with claims about the Trump-Russia collusion during the 2016 election
Joseph A. Wulfsohn
Rep. Eric Swalwell suggested Tuesday that President Trump was behind Axios' bombshell report revealing that he was one of several politicians who was entangled with someone suspected to be a Chinese spy.
Axios reported on Monday that a Chinese national named Fang Fang or Christine Fang targeted up-and-coming local politicians, including Swalwell, D-Calif.
Fang reportedly took part in fundraising for Swalwell's 2014 reelection campaign although she did not make donations nor was there evidence of illegal contributions.
According to Axios, investigators became so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that they alerted Swalwell in 2015 to their concerns, and gave him a “defensive briefing.” Swalwell then cut off all ties with Fang and has not been accused of any wrongdoing, according to an official who spoke to the outlet.
Swalwell, who was one of the most outspoken lawmakers who pushed the Russia collusion narrative since Trump took office, is now hinting that the president was behind Axios' explosive reporting during an interview with Politico.
“I’ve been a critic of the president. I’ve spoken out against him. I was on both committees that worked to impeach him. The timing feels like that should be looked at," Swalwell said on Tuesday.
Swalwell revealed that Axios first approached him about his ties to Fang in July 2019, which was also when he ended his short-lived presidential campaign. But the Democratic lawmaker seemed to suggest that intelligence officials involved in Axios' reporting were trying to "weaponize" his cooperation with authorities.
"What it appears though that this person — as the story reports — was unsuccessful in whatever they were trying to do. But if intelligence officials are trying to weaponize someone’s cooperation, they are essentially seeking to do what this person was not able to do, which is to try and discredit someone," Swalwell told Politico.