Trump claims ‘spy‘ was embedded in 2016 presidential campaign

Trump claims the Obama administration embedded the ‘spy‘ in the ‘early stages‘ of his 2016 presidential campaign to try and help ‘Crooked Hillary‘ win and was paid a ‘massive amount of money‘

claimed on Tuesday that a ‘spy‘ was embedded in his presidential campaign on the orders of the Obama administration as part of a partisan bid to help during the race.

The tweets were the President‘s latest attempt to use reports that an FBI informant met with three of his campaign advisers during its probe into alleged Russian collusion to accuse the bureau of pursuing the investigation for political ends.

Trump claimed the agent ‘never reported collusion with ‘ and was ‘only there to spy for political reasons‘. He also referred to a ‘seemingly massive amount of money‘ paid to the informant without providing any evidence for this claim.

The tweets came after the President spoke at the Campaign for Life Gala in DC, during which he pledged to continue withdrawing taxpayer support for abortion services and urged pro-life campaigners to vote Republican in the elections.

However, the frenzied tone of the tweets contrasted with comments from former Trump adviser Sam Clovis, who used an interview on Tuesday to say his meeting with the informant was so unremarkable he didn‘t even bother to take notes.

Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening: ‘If the person placed very early into my campaign wasn‘t a SPY put there by the previous Administration for political purposes, how come such a seemingly massive amount of money was paid for services rendered – many times higher than normal.

‘Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia, because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!‘

Claims about an FBI informant in the Trump campaign have swirled around Washington for weeks, with right-wing pundits claiming this figure was a spy permanently embedded with the future President and his advisers.

Ramping up the rhetoric, Trump on Sunday demanded the Department of Justice look at claims his campaign was ‘infiltrated or surveilled by the FBI or the department itself and to see if President Barack Obama was behind the effort.

The Department of Justice, in turn, asked its Inspector General (IG) to look into the claims.

On Monday, the department agreed to expand an already existing probe into alleged abuses by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to include the latest probe.

Trump’s claims gained a new momentum on Friday after a series of newspaper reports identified the informant as Stefan Halper, a 73-year-old American academic who worked in the UK.

Halper, a Cambridge University professor with CIA s, met with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, two Trump aides suspected of dealing with the Russians. That is in addition to Sam Clovis.

During one of their dinners, Halper asked Papadopoulos whether he was involved in Russian hacking of Democratic emails, reported.

‘George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?‘ he asked, according to multiple news reports. After Papadopoulos denied it, Halper grew frustrated.

The odd question would fit with a scenario suggested over the weekend by conservative pundits, in which Halper – acting on the FBI‘s behalf – attempted to confirm Papadopoulos‘ complicity but came up empty-handed.

Papadopoulos also claimed Halper‘s assistant, Turk, flirted with him during their meetings, according to the Daily Caller.

His s with Trump‘s campaign took place while the FBI was undertaking a probe since revealed to be called ‘Crossfire Hurricane‘ seeking to uncover ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. It later would morph into the Russia probe being overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Washington Post and New York Times both reported Halper‘s existence as an informant but did not publish his identity. Halper‘s name had been circulating among reporters and others in Washington for weeks – as Republicans in Congress put pressure on the Justice Department to release the name and work product of the FBI‘s informant.

Halper, who has longstanding MI6 and CIA ties, married into the family of U.S. intelligence legend Ray Cline – famed for being the chief CIA analyst during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Cultivating a rapport with Papadopoulos to gain his confidence was apparently important enough to the FBI that Halper offered him a payment for an academic paper – as a pretext for having in-person meetings.

Agreeing to pay Page $3,000 for a policy paper about energy issues in Turkey, Israel and Cyprus gave him a reason to spend even more money to fly him to London to discuss the project during meetings and at least one dinner.

They met at the Travellers Club, a gentleman‘s club there. Later, Turk tried to meet with Papadopoulos in his home town of Chicago.

Halper had asked Papadopoulos about writing the paper on about ‘a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea,‘ according to the New York Times.

Papadopoulos was the first figure to plead guilty in the Mueller probe. He admits he lied to the FBI about his s with another professor, Joseph Mifsud, a London-based academic originally from Malta who had Kremlin s.

Papadopoulos says it was Mifsud who told him the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. 

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