Stefan Halper was identified this week as the alleged “informant” who Donald Trump accused of spying on his 2016 presidential campaign and kicking off an FBI investigation into possible collusion with Russia.
But several weeks ago, a news outlet with deep ties to Trump himself had already identified Halper as the likely information. The Daily Caller, a right-leaning news outlet founded by Trump supporter and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, had actually reported back on March 25 that Halper had reached out to members of Trump’s campaign in an effort to learn about their communications with Russia.
The Daily Caller did not name its source for the story, but noted that the person was familiar with the thinking of Trump campaign member George Papadopoulos and knew details of a meeting that Papadopoulos had with Halper. It was Papadopoulos who first raised suspicions with the FBI that Trump’s campaign could have been colluding with Russia when he allegedly spilled details to an Australian diplomat that the campaign had foreknowledge that WikiLeaks was releasing dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump has had deep and sometimes secret ties with The Daily Caller. A 2017 report from the Center for Media and Democracy found that The Daily Caller received an undisclosed $150,000 payment from Donald Trump’s campaign for access to the site’s mailing list. In the final two months of the election, Trump’s campaign sent at least 25 emails to the mailing list, the report found.
Halper’s alleged role in kicking off the FBI investigation drew deep criticism from Donald Trump, who lashed out this week after a report on Fox News claimed that the FBI had placed a “spy” inside his campaign.
Several news outlets identified Stefan Halper as the informant who met with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos during the summer of 2016. Though some of the reports did not identify Halper by name, the New York Post noted that it was clear through descriptions that Halper was the one who fed information to the FBI about the contacts Trump campaign members had been allegedly making with Russia.
The 73-year-old Halper is now a professor at Cambridge University, and has had deep ties to the American and British intelligence communities, the New York Post reported. The American-born Halper also has a long history with the Republican Party, serving in the administrations of Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan.
Donald Trump has claimed that it’s a “big deal” that his campaign was “infiltrated,” and called on the FBI to release information about it to Congress. He did not mention Stefan Halper by name.