How did the Federal Bureau of Investigation use an informant on the Trump campaign?

30 May, 2018, 05:21 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Trump claims a 'spy' on his campaign tried to help 'Crooked Hillary' win

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told NPR separately on Thursday that he wouldn't discuss the classified briefing but that he retains confidence in special counsel Robert Mueller and in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Trump now is zeroing in on - and at times embellishing - reports that a longtime USA government informant approached members of his 2016 campaign during the presidential election in a possible bid to glean intelligence on Russian efforts to sway the election.

"I don't have a great answer for them", Comey said of social media companies including Facebook and Twitter, which were major venues for what USA intelligence agencies have said was a Russian-sponsored effort to help President Donald Trump win the 2016 US election. He has urged the Department of Justice to investigate whether the FBI actually penetrated the campaign, and asked his Chief of Staff John Kelly to invited top Justice Department, FBI officials and Republican lawmakers to the White House to review classified documents relating to the matter.

Trump claimed ex-DNI James Clapper "admitted", the intelligence community "was spying on my campaign", a false statement that twisted Clapper's recent comments about the FBI's actions and the repeat of an unproven claim by the president.

Giuliani said Mueller's office, which has been negotiating the parameters of a potential sit-down, would probably limit questions to those involving whether the campaign colluded with Russian agents and whether Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into those efforts. But NPR and other news outlets have identified him as Stefan Halper, a retired professor who served in several Republican presidential administrations. Rosenstein was also present for Thursday's briefings.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans are now "getting the cooperation necessary" to resolve their demands for classified information stemming from early stages of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The president intensified his attacks this week, calling it "spygate" and tweeting Thursday that it was "Starting to look like one of the biggest political scandals in US history".

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Comey has been criticized for the FBI's failure to counter Russia's election meddling while it was happening.

In response to Trump's tweets about him, Clapper said he was "bothered" by Trump targeting private citizens after they share an opinion that Trump dislikes.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, "Never seen a Gang of Eight meeting that included any presence from the White House".

File photos of Donald Trump and James Comey.

The back and forth between Congress and the Justice Department has simmered for weeks.

Giuliani also said that learning about the confidential source is a prerequisite for any special counsel interview with the President.

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President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House May 23, 2018 in Washington, DC.

"Clapper has now admitted that there was Spying in my campaign".

"The goal there would be to protect national security by figuring out what Russia's intentions were and their efforts to infiltrate our political processes", she explained, noting the use of an informant was a way to keep the investigation from becoming public.

The "why" behind all of this is simple: Trump and his allies in the conservative media are in the midst of an extended campaign to discredit the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the broader Justice Department.

"If they don't show us these documents, well, we are just going to have to say no", Giuliani said.

Trump also repeated his allegation that the FBI's use of informants - a common practice in investigations - amounted to spying on his campaign.

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