More details have begun to emerge about the Cambridge professor who allegedly acted as an FBI informant on the Trump campaign, including how much money the federal government paid him in 2016, when he was allegedly attempting to draw out information from campaign advisers about "collusion" with Russia.
According to public records, Stefan Halper, a 73-year-old American-born professor at Cambridge University with ties to both American and British intelligence stretching back decades, received $282,000 and $129,000 in 2016 and 2017, respectively, from the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment, the internal think tank that reports directly to the secretary of defense (then Ash Carter).
As the New York Post notes, it is unclear how much of the money if any from the Office of Net Assessment was directed to Halper for his alleged role as an informant on the Trump campaign.
Halper was identified by multiple outlets after reports published Friday by The Washington Post and New York Times provided enough details about the Trump campaign "spy" for other outlets to connect the dots. Both reports described an American-born British academic who met with Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, two Trump campaign advisers who have since been ensnared in the federal Russia probe.
In response to the allegations, President Trump announced Sunday that he is calling on the Department of Justice to investigate "whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purpose" and to find out who in the Obama administration may have played a role in the alleged operation.
"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!" he tweeted Sunday.
On Sunday, the DOJ responded to Trump's demand by saying they were going to "expand" their ongoing FISA application review to include "whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election."
"The Department has asked the Inspector General to expand the ongoing review of the FISA application process to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election," DOJ spokesperson Sarah Isgur Flores said in a statement Sunday. "As always, the IG will consult with the appropriate U.S. Attorney if there is any evidence of potential criminal conduct."
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein also responded to Trump's call for an investigation, saying in a statement, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."