As President Donald Trump and his Republican allies, both in the media and on Capitol Hill, swell their efforts to unveil the identity of an unnamed FBI source who reportedly met with Trump campaign officials as a government informant in 2016, the FBI is taking steps to protect that person if their identity is revealed, The Washington Post reported.
According to unnamed sources familiar with intelligence operations, in the past two weeks the FBI has worked to protect other investigations that person has worked on and is attempting to shield associates of the informant if his or her identity is revealed.
The FBI source is reportedly a U.S. citizen who has provided the FBI and the CIA with information in the past. The person has reportedly helped with the Russia investigation both before and after special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to probe the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the election, according to the Post.
Members of Trump’s inner circle and conservatives in the media have seized on reports of the informant — first reported by the New York Times on Wednesday — as evidence of a baseless claim that the former administration attempted to “spy” on Trump’s campaign. Trump tweeted on Thursday that if the reports turned out to be true, it would divulge a level of corruption “bigger than Watergate.”
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told the Post that the revelations make Mueller’s probe “completely illegitimate.” Other Trump allies claim unveiling details about the informant and his or her work for the FBI could help them get rid of Mueller or deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
“The prior government did it, but the present government, for some reason I can’t figure out, is covering it up,” he told the Post.
The reports follow weeks long efforts by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) to get information about the FBI source, as well as the basis and scope of the Russia probe. FBI officials have refused to divulge certain information in order to protect the person’s safety.