California congressman Eric Swalwell has refused to say whether he had a sexual relationship with a Chinese honeytrap spy, as Donald Trump Jr described him as a 'threat to national security'.
Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night said his team had asked Swalwell's office whether the reports of a sexual relationship with Christine Fang were true, but his office declined to comment, citing national security.
Carlson's claim echoed that of Donald Trump Jr on Monday, who repeated his accusations on Tuesday night.
Trump Jr also told Carlson's show that Swalwell was a threat to national security.
Swalwell, 40, is the most high-profile figure to be swept up in the bombshell story of Fang, who between 2011 and 2015 targeted rising political stars in the Bay Area and across the country who seemed destined for nationally important roles.
Swalwell is currently a member of the House Intelligence Committee, and played a high-profile role in the impeachment of Donald Trump.
'U.S. intelligence officials believe that Fang had a sexual relationship with Eric Swalwell,' said Carlson on Tuesday night.
'We asked Swalwell's office about that directly today.
'His staff replied by saying that they could not comment whether Swalwell had a sexual relationship with Fang, because that information might be, quote, classified.'
He described Fang as being Swalwell's 'companion' who helped fundraise for him, and secure the support of the Asian American community in his constituency.
Swalwell was single at the time of Fang's mission in the United States, and did not marry his wife Brittany until 2016.
Fang met Swalwell in 2012, when her cover was a student in the Bay Area and became involved in activism and politics, moving on to fundraise.
Swalwell's office gave a similarly opaque answer when asked on Monday by Axios - which spent a year investigating Fang - about his relationship with her.
Axios' story does not report any romantic or personal relationship between Swalwell and the woman – although it does say U.S. investigators discovered her having sexual relationships with two unidentified mayors from the Midwest while U.S. authorities were monitoring her.
'Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person - whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn't seen in nearly six years - to the FBI.
'To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story.'
Intelligence agencies were so concerned about Fang's involvement in Swalwell's office that they organized a briefing for Swalwell, and he severed ties with her immediately.
She vanished not long after, presumably back to China.
Trump Jr told Carlson's show Tuesday: 'I appreciate you calling out Eric Swalwell as somebody who was probably the number two recipient of these tinfoil hat brigade attacks about Russia for years.'
He went on to point out that Swalwell called him a traitor and added: 'I find it very ironic that he was perhaps sleeping with a Chinese spy, certainly one that had infiltrated his inner circle.
'And what I find even scarier is that you are one of the few people as usual calling balls and strikes and calling this sort of stuff out while the rest of the media remains silent.
'We shouldn't be surprised that the media being silent on this issue which is truly a national security threat while this man sits on the House Intelligence Committee.'
Trump Jr. had tweeted about the story repeatedly Tuesday and said, without providing evidence, that Swalwell was 'sleeping' with the alleged spy.
'So Rep Swalwell who spent years saying I was an agent of Russia was literally sleeping with a Chinese spy at the time. You can’t make this stuff up. How can this compromised individual/moron continue to sit on an intelligence committee?' he asked.
He was referencing Swalwell's repeated probing into the infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.
The story mentions nothing about Swalwell's sex life, although it features images of him with Fang, also identified as Christine Fang, at events.
Axios does provide stunning disclosures that an 'older' Midwest mayor from an 'obscure city' referred to Fang as his 'girlfriend' at a 2014 conference, information attributed to Cupertino Mayor Gilbert Wong.
It also cited a current U.S. official saying Fang had a sexual encounter with an Ohio mayor in a car while it was under FBI surveillance.
There was more at play than romantic chemistry with the unidentified mayor.
Asked why Fang was interested in the mayor, he said she wanted to improve her English, the official told the outlet.
Another Trump Jr. tweet featured Swalwell warning of the dangers of potential election interference, where he blasted the administration for 'false equivalence' between threats by China, Iran, and Russia – which interfered in 2016.
'It's all starting to make sense!!!' quipped Trump Jr.
He also retweeted former Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, a Trump loyalist who joined one press conference to press an election lawsuit this year, that singled out Swalwell.
'It’s the democrat playbook to accuse others of doing all the things you’re actually doing. This should be no surprise anymore,' he said in another tweet.