CALLS THEM “CORRUPT”
by Sharon Rondeau
“The Democrats are now alluding to the the [sic] concept that having an informant placed in an opposing party’s campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be,” Trump tweeted after announcing that he will be giving the commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland later today. “But what about an ‘informant’ who is paid a fortune and who ‘sets up’ way earlier than the Russian Hoax?” he concluded his first tweet of the series.
Trump’s reference to a “spy” is to Cambridge University Professor Emeritus Stefan Halper, who reportedly communicated with at least three Trump campaign aides prior to the July 31, 2016 date the FBI has provided as the launch date of its counterintelligence probe of the Trump campaign.
Earlier this month, The New York Times and The Washington Post both reported that releasing the name of the “informant” could jeopardize lives and other investigations while at the same time providing morsels of information which assisted a number of journalists to identify Halper as the “informant.”
On Monday The Post reported that Halper has been paid “more than” $1 million since 2012 by a Pentagon think tank for research into intelligence-related matters, the payment for which was reportedly shared with a number of his colleagues.
The Daily Caller and The Wall Street Journal have confirmed directly with 2016 campaign advisoe Carter Page that Halper spoke with him during a July 11-12 symposium in the UK. However, Page told The WSJ that an unnamed individual invited him to the event “much earlier—the end of May or early June.”
On Tuesday night, Page told FNC host Laura Ingram that during his email and in-person interactions with Halper, he did not feel “groomed” as a possible target of any type of clandestine probe.
In his first tweet of the series, Trump was likely referring to the appearance of former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper on ABCs “The View” on Tuesday, during which Clapper said that the “spy” was looking at possible Russian attempts to “influence” and “infiltrate” people within the Trump campaign.
At that point, co-host Joy Behar asked Clapper why Trump should not have been “happy” that the FBI dispatched an informant to assess alleged Russian influence, to which Clapper responded, “Well, he should be.” He claimed that the FBI was trying to “protect the campaign.”
The Clinton campaign has not claimed any such approaches by outside people, although it is established that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid law firm Perkins Coie a fee which was conveyed to the political research firm Fusion GPS. Fusion then commissioned former British spy Christopher Steele to assemble a “dossier” on purportedly compromising information held by the Russians about Donald Trump.
Halper has connections to British intelligence as well as to the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump’s second tweet consisted of a question and a declaration of incredulity given that the Democrats allegedly went to great lengths to see that Trump was defeated, and yet he defeated their candidate. “Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain? And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!” he wrote.
Trump’s third and final tweet on the topic quoted The Federalist‘s Mollie Hemingway’s comments made to FNC host Tucker Carlson on Thursday evening. Carlson had begun the interview with, “There are still news outlets as of tonight that are pretending like there was no spy on the Trump campaign. Do we know as a factual matter that the Obama FBI spied on the Trump campaign, or don’t we?”
Hemingway responded, “Everyone knows that there was a spy, and in fact, the people who were involved in the spying are admitting that there was a spy. They are saying, though, that because the government term is ‘human intelligence informant’ or something like that, that therefore it’s not a spy, whereas normal Americans understand that when you are gathering information on someone surreptitiously, that’s the common definition of spying. And more than that, that’s just a stunning revelation that this was happening under the previous administration, that there would be this kind of surveillance, not just at least one human intelligence informant, but also wiretaps; national security letters, which are how you can secretly get a subpoena; and who knows what else is going on. So actually like – widespread spying involving multiple people in the Trump campaign, and we still don’t really know what’s going on because they’re trying to fight transparency.”
Carlson then asked rhetorically Hemingway and his other guest, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, how a Trump-controlled Justice Department could obfuscate exactly what happened and when during the 2016 campaign. Fitton responded that meetings held on Thursday with two lawmakers asking to see documents showing how the counterintelligence probe was launched were “for show” and that despite Republican control, Justice Department officials holding the documents “have contempt for congressional oversight.”
He claimed that Justice refused to disclose the documentation requested by House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, which was confirmed by Fox News’s White House correspondent Ed Henry on “Hannity” an hour later.
Hemingway speculated that the documentation Justice officials are withholding from Congress is “really damaging, really dangerous,” but that they are “willing to subvert any authority in order to keep that a secret.”
Fitton suggested that the Justice Department “can’t be trusted” to police itself and that Trump should “tell them (Justice officials) to release these records.”
Trump ended his opining on the topic with, “But the corrupt Mainstream Media hates this monster story!”