President Donald Trump called what he perceives as a scandal involving a 'spy' in his presidential campaign 'SPYGATE' on Wednesday, but Twitter quickly pointed out that nickname was taken by the NFL in 2007.

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Trump brings back ‘spygate’—and gets mercilessly trolled online

'Spygate' was a term for a football scandal in 2007.


Andrew Wyrich


Posted on May 23, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 3:09 pm CDT

On Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump tried to assign a nickname to what he believes is a scandal involving the FBI having an informant in his campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Too bad that name’s taken.

In a series of tweets, Trump railed against a “spy” in his campaign and blasted the “criminal Deep State” for trying to surveil his campaign. At the end of the Twitter rant, Trump called the situation “spygate,” which garnered a torrent of reactions.

Many people quickly reminded the president that the term “spygate” has already been used to name a scandal involving the New England Patriots football team several years ago. The Patriots were disciplined by the National Football League for videotaping coaches from the New York Jets during a game in September 2007 from an area of the field where they were prohibited from doing so. The team had to pay fines and give up draft picks for violating league rules.

The president should be familiar with the term, considering his ties to numerous high-profile members of the Patriots organization. Quarterback Tom Brady has golfed with Trump, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is known to have a close relationship with the president, and coach Bill Belichick was recently named to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.

The jokes from Twitter came quick:

But Patriots-related jokes weren’t the only thing people mocked. Some Twitter users thought “Spygate” sounded like an action thriller that would be hitting theaters this summer.

The next Patriots-related scandal in football was called “Deflategate.”

Will Trump use that nickname next?

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*First Published: May 23, 2018, 7:43 am CDT