White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany overthrew MP Eric Swalwell on a report that he was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy during his campaign, claiming Democrats were “under the control of foreign power.”
The White House’s remarks come after a report that a suspected Chinese spy came close to several politicians, including Swalwell, California, and that the FBI had stepped in to disrupt the situation – even giving him “defense briefings”.
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“For 4 years, President Trump has been accused of being a Russian operational employee,” McEnany said in a statement on Wednesday.
“It’s absolutely breathtaking to note that an organization controlled by a foreign power was Democrats, including Eric Swalwell,” he said. “Democrats have accused him of the right to something they’ve done all along.”
He added: “It was never Russia and the Republicans, but the Democrats and China.”
Axios reported that Swalwell was one of the targets of a Chinese citizen named Fang Fang or Christine Fang, who left the country in 2015 after working in political circles in California. The outlet reported having a romantic relationship with at least two mayors in the Midwest.
While officials don’t believe they received or transmitted classified information, officials thought the case was “big trouble because there were very, very sensitive people he caught up with in the network,” one official told the outlet.
As for Swalwell, Fang was allegedly involved in fundraising for the Liberal Congressman’s 2014 re-election campaign – although he made no donations and there was no evidence of illegal contributions.
Fang’s earliest known relationship with Swalwell was through the Chinese Students ’Union, Axios reported, and by 2014“ established close ties ”with Swalwell’s office.
Fang reportedly placed at least one trainee in Swalwell’s office and contacted him at several events over the years.
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Axios said investigators were so alarmed by Fang’s behavior and activities that in 2015, Swalwell was warned of their concerns and given a “defense briefing”. Swalwell then severed all ties with Fang and the official, who told the agency, was not charged with an offense.
Fang left the country in mid-2015.
In a statement to the press, Swalwell’s office said, “Representative Swalwell used to provide information about this person, whom he had met for more than eight years and had not seen for nearly six years, to the FBI. To protect any classified information, .
His office did not comment further to Fox News.
An FBI official familiar with the investigation told the San Francisco Chronicle that Swalwell was “fully cooperative and not suspected of an infringement”.
“It was a defensive briefing,” the officer told The Chronicle. “We’ve received information about information where we have a duty to warn … that a foreign government may target him.”
Swalwell is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, which has been investigating for years whether members of the 2016 Trump campaign colluded or coordinated with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Fang also volunteered for Representative Ro Khanna’s (D-California) 2014 house offer and Representative Tulsi Gabbard’s Hawaii 2013 fundraiser. According to Khanna’s office, the congressman saw Fang at several gatherings, but had no further contact, while Gabbard’s office told the outlet that he “does not remember ever meeting or talking. [Fang], nor does he remember playing a big role in fundraising. “
Khanna also expressed concern about FBI investigations that are “causing additional harm” to privacy.
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“I respect the need for law enforcement to protect our nation from espionage. [But] we need strict safeguards to ensure that FBI investigations do not cause additional harm to the privacy of U.S. citizens or the legitimacy of Asian Americans in this country, ”he said.
Fox News John Roberts and Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.