At an Ohio rally, President Trump chided Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for having a “Chinese spy” as her driver for 20 years.
While she was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein had a driver who was investigated for spying for the communist Chinese government, Politico Magazine reported. The staffer with Feinstein’s San Francisco office was suspected of providing political intelligence to his handlers, though none of the information was classified.
In Ohio Saturday evening, the president said: “Speaking of China, it just came out that the Democratic leader and the leader of the Russian investigation, Dianne Feinstein, had a Chinese spy as her driver for 20 years! And she’s leading the Russian investigation if that’s what you call it. How about she’s leading the Russia witch hunt!”
The story got the attention Monday of talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“She’s got a Chi-Com spy driving her around for 20 years, and we’re talking about Russians?!” he said.
Limbaugh pointed out that when authorities learned of the allegations, they immediately told Feinstein.
But when investigators, under the Obama administration, allegedly learned of “collusion” by members of the Trump campaign team, they kept it secret from Trump.
“They told Di-Fi that a spy was on her staff, but they didn’t tell Trump?” Limbaugh said. “The point is, she was told. The FBI told her. She was supposedly mortified.”
After all, he said, she headed the Senate Intelligence Committee at the time.
“The point of this is that she was the chairman of the committee at the time the Chi-Coms had a mole. The FBI told her. … They warned her. They didn’t warn Trump. The FBI embedded spies in the Trump campaign. Everywhere you look it’s the Democrat Party that’s compromised or working with the enemies of America.”
USA Today reported Feinstein offered an explanation in a tweet Saturdy.
“The FBI told me 5 years ago it had concerns that China was seeking to recruit an administrative member of my Calif staff (despite no access to sensitive information). I took those concerns seriously, learned the facts and made sure the employee left my office immediately.”
Some reports said the driver was “terminated,” others said he retired.
The president pointed out that Feinstein is among the lawmakers pressing Trump on the claim his campaign colluded with Russia, despite the lack of evidence.
USA Today reported Trump “said that he likes the California Democrat but ‘I don’t like the fact that she had a Chinese spy driving her and she didn’t know it.’ He then appeared to mock that Feinstein is among one of many Democrats who has questioned Trump and his campaign’s connections to Russia.”
Trump said: “Then she says to me, ‘Well, what did you know about this and that,’ I mean, give me a break, c’mon folks.”
WND reported Friday the Politico report said a former intelligence official told author Zach Dorfman that the suspected informant was “run” by officials based at the local Chinese Consulate.
A source familiar with the incident confirmed to San Francisco Chronicle columnists Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross that the FBI alerted Feinstein about five years ago that her driver was being investigated for possible Chinese spying.
Along with driving duties, the staffer was a gofer and a liaison to the Asian American community. He even attended Chinese Consulate functions for the senator.
The Chronicle’s source said that during a trip to Asia to visit relatives, the staffer was connected to someone with the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of State Security.
The contact stayed in touch on subsequent visits.
The Feinstein staffer “didn’t even know what was happening — that he was being recruited,” the source said.