White House once promoted statement from FBI informant in press release
The FBI informant who has been the target of President Trump’s ire in recent weeks was once held up in a White House press release for his support for the president’s trade agenda with China.
Stefan Halper, an American academic, was among several voices included in a news release praising Trump’s demand for an investigation into China’s reported theft of U.S. intellectual property.
“Since China joined the [World Trade Organization] WTO in 2001, 2.4 million U.S. jobs have been lost and 60,000 U.S. manufacturing firms have been forced out of business. Entire regions of the country have been hollowed out. Intellectual property theft – 70% by China – now costs the U.S. some $600 billion a year,” Halper says in the Aug. 14 statement, titled “Praise for President Donald J. Trump’s Memorandum on Chinese Trade Practices.”
“A thorough review of this problem, and a rebalancing of the trade relationship, is urgent. The Administration is to be commended for initiating that today.”
Politico first reported Halper’s inclusion in the White House press release.
More recently, the White House has turned its attention to what Trump has insisted was an FBI plot to plant a “spy” in his presidential campaign, after it was revealed that Halper acted as an informant for the bureau.
Halper reportedly met with three Trump campaign advisers in 2016 — George Papadopoulos, Sam Clovis and Carter Page — in the early months of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
No evidence has emerged that the FBI improperly spied on Trump’s campaign, as the president and his allies have claimed.
The White House statement touting Halper’s support for Trump’s trade agenda came just two weeks after the professor sent an email to Page in July 2017.
Page, who has never worked in Trump’s White House, posted a copy of that email on Twitter on May 20 of this year.
Reporters keep asking me about my interactions with Prof. Halper.
I found all our interactions to be cordial.
Like this email I received about a year after I first met him.
He never seemed suspicious.
Just a few scholars exchanging ideas.
He had interests in policy, and politics. pic.twitter.com/D5SKkvN2Bx
— Carter Page, Ph.D. (@carterwpage) May 20, 2018
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