Washington, D.C. (The Hill) — President Trump on Friday once again made the claim that the FBI improperly spied on his presidential campaign, suggesting that the bureau used a top-secret informant to surveil his team long before it began investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“The Democrats are now alluding to the concept that having an Informant placed in an opposing party’s campaign is different than having a Spy, as illegal as that may be,” he tweeted. “But what about an ‘Informant’ who is paid a fortune and who ‘sets up’ way earlier than the Russian Hoax?”
“Can anyone even imagine having Spies placed in a competing campaign, by the people and party in absolute power, for the sole purpose of political advantage and gain?” he wrote in a second tweet. “And to think that the party in question, even with the expenditure of far more money, LOST!”
The tweets were Trump’s latest suggestion that the FBI planted a mole within his campaign to spy on his team under the guise that his associates were being influenced by Moscow.
No evidence has emerged that the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign. The informant, identified in media reports as Stefan Halper, an American academic, reportedly met with at least three advisers on Trump’s campaign in 2016.
It is not clear whether the FBI paid the informant at all for his work.
Trump’s tweets Friday came a day after select lawmakers met with top Justice Department officials for two highly classified meetings to discuss the FBI’s use of the informant in the early months of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s role in the election.
After the meetings, congressional Democrats said they saw “no evidence” that the FBI placed a spy in the Trump campaign.
Democrats were also concerned about White House lawyer Emmet Flood’s attendance at the two meetings, with Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) noting that his presence “only underscores [that] the President’s legal team expects to use information gleaned improperly from the Justice Department or the President’s allies in Congress to their legal advantage.”