Trump: Why didn’t FBI tell me about ‘phony Russia problem’ during campaign
President Trump questioned on Saturday why the FBI never informed him that it was examining Russian interference in the 2016 election when the bureau began using an informant to meet with his campaign advisers.
“With Spies, or ‘Informants’ as the Democrats like to call them because it sounds less sinister (but it’s not), all over my campaign, even from a very early date, why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or ‘Justice’ contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?” Trump tweeted.
With Spies, or “Informants” as the Democrats like to call them because it sounds less sinister (but it’s not), all over my campaign, even from a very early date, why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or “Justice” contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 26, 2018
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that an FBI informant met with at least three Trump campaign advisers in 2016. The meeting took place in the early days of the bureau’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to meddle in the presidential election.
Trump and his allies have suggested in recent days that the informant was used to spy on his campaign for political reasons. No evidence has surfaced to suggest that that was the case.
Former intelligence officials, including former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have pushed back on Trump’s allegations, saying that the informant was deployed as the intelligence community sought to determine whether Russia was taking active measures to influence the election.
It was also reported in late 2017 that the FBI did, in fact, warn the Trump campaign of possible Russian meddling.
Select lawmakers met with top Justice Department officials this week in a pair of classified meetings to discuss the use of the informant, who has been identified in media reports as American professor Stefan Halper.
The U.S. intelligence community concluded in a report released last year that Russia did, in fact, meddle in the presidential election and sought to help Trump’s campaign.
That conclusion has become the subject of a criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has denounced that probe as a “witch hunt” and a “hoax” intended to undermine his presidency.
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