The FBI is trying to mitigate the potential damage if the source’s identity is revealed. President Trump called the possibility “Bigger than Watergate!”
President Trump’s allies are waging an aggressive campaign to undercut the Russia investigation by exposing the role of a top-secret FBI source, the Washington Post reports. The effort reached new heights on Thursday as Trump alleged that an informant had improperly spied on his 2016 campaign and predicted that the ensuing scandal would be “bigger than Watergate!” The push begun by a cadre of Trump boosters on Capitol Hill now has champions across the GOP and throughout conservative media. The dispute pits Trump and the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee against the Justice Department and intelligence agencies, whose leaders warn that publicly identifying the source would put lives in danger and imperil other operations.
The stakes are so high that the FBI has been working to mitigate the potential damage if the source’s identity is revealed. The bureau is taking steps to protect other live investigations that the person has worked on and is trying to lessen any danger to associates if the informant’s identity becomes known. Trump reacted on Twitter to reports that there was a top-secret source providing intelligence to the FBI as it began its investigation into Russia’s interference in the election process. “Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT,’ ” Trump tweeted. He added, “If so, this is bigger than Watergate!” Trump’s attorney, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, said the president believes some law enforcement officials have been conspiring against him. “The prior government did it, but the present government, for some reason I can’t figure out, is covering it up,” Giuliani said, adding that confirmation of an informant could render the Mueller investigation “completely illegitimate.”