Monday, 21 May 2018

Name of Spy in Trump Campaign Revealed; Trump Demands Investigation

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The name of the FBI spy placed in the Trump campaign in 2016 has been revealed, and it turns out this isn’t his first time infiltrating a political campaign as a spy. Seventy-three-year-old University of Cambridge professor Stefan Halper — who was planted in the Trump campaign to report to the FBI — did the same thing for Reagan’s 1980 campaign, according to multiple reports.

As The Intercept is reporting:

Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign — using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush — got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.

On May 10, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberly Strassel reported that the FBI “source” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) was seeking to learn more about was actually a spy the FBI had planted in the Trump campaign. The FBI and DOJ had “stalled” and “stonewalled” Nunes — going so far as to refuse to comply with a congressional subpoena to provide the information. Only after Nunes threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of Congress did DOJ back down and brief committee members on the “specific individual.”

Strassel ended her explosive article by saying:

I believe I know the name of the informant, but my intelligence sources did not provide it to me and refuse to confirm it. It would therefore be irresponsible to publish it. But what is clear is that we’ve barely scratched the surface of the FBI’s 2016 behavior, and the country will never get the straight story until President Trump moves to declassify everything possible. It’s time to rip off the Band-Aid.

This writer — simply projecting the lines — predicted that others would “do the same digging she has done and the name will likely soon be known. And when it is known, it's going to be a bad day for the DOJ and FBI.”

The past week and a half has been abuzz with speculation. Now, as Fox News is reporting, it is known that the New York Times and Washington Post “have known of Halper’s identity for weeks, but chose not to reveal his name. Then on Thursday, the Daily Caller named Halper in the opening paragraph of its report.”

Of course, now that Halper has been revealed as the spy, the FBI and DOJ look more than a little ridiculous for having trotted out the tired old line about how revealing his name would “threaten national security” and could result in “loss of human lives.” Given Halper’s past — particularly his running a spying operation inside the Carter administration for George H.W. Bush during Reagan’s successful bid to unseat Carter — it is much more believable that the FBI and DOJ were really just concerned about getting caught with their pants down.

As The Intercept reported:

To begin with, it’s obviously notable that the person the FBI used to monitor the Trump campaign is the same person who worked as a CIA operative running that 1980 Presidential election spying campaign.

It was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter did this scandal emerge. It was leaked by right-wing officials inside the Reagan administration who wanted to undermine officials they regarded as too moderate, including then White House Chief of Staff James Baker, who was a Bush loyalist.

The NYT in 1983 said the Reagan campaign spying operation “involved a number of retired Central Intelligence Agency officials and was highly secretive.” The article, by then-NYT reporter Leslie Gelb, added that its “sources identified Stefan A. Halper, a campaign aide involved in providing 24-hour news updates and policy ideas to the traveling Reagan party, as the person in charge.” Halper, now 73, had also worked with Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and Alexander Haig as part of the Nixon administration.

In response to the scandal, President Trump tweeted Sunday: “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

It is shaping up to be a bad time, indeed, for the FBI and DOJ.

Photo: AP Images

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