- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You’d be forgiven if you’re suffering from a bit of whiplash following the media’s coverage of the FBI’s spy operation on the 2016 Trump campaign. 

 First it was insane and paranoid to suggest the FBI spied on Trump’s 2016 operation. Then we learned there were multiple electronic surveillance operations (at least one authorized through the ultra-secret FISA court) on members of the campaign, including one-time chairman Paul Manafort.

Now we learn the FBI utilized a person linked with the CIA to engage in direct contact and conversations with members of the Trump team for the sole purpose of gathering information on the operation and suspected contact with the Russian government. 

In other words: They had a spy. 

But get ready for another stinging tinge of whiplash… the spy, wasn’t a spy and he was not engaged in spying on the campaign.  He was a source who was investigating the campaign. 



We know this because the New York Times told us:

The New York Times, sitting on one of the most blockbuster scandals in American history, denied their own story in their own headline. 

“Not to spy” they scream in their headline. 

But read what they actually report this “informant” did: (emphasis added)

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.

More: 

No evidence has emerged that the informant acted improperly when the F.B.I. asked for help in gathering information on the former campaign advisers, or that agents veered from the F.B.I.’s investigative guidelines and began a politically motivated inquiry, which would be illegal.

More:

F.B.I. agents were seeking more details about what Mr. Papadopoulos knew about the hacked Democratic emails, and one month after their Russia investigation began, Mr. Papadopoulos received a curious message. The academic inquired about his interest in writing a research paper on a disputed gas field in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a subject of Mr. Papadopoulos’s expertise.

The informant offered a $3,000 honorarium for the paper and a paid trip to London, where the two could meet and discuss the research project. “I understand that this is rather sudden but thought that given your expertise it might be of interest to you,” the informant wrote in a message to Mr. Papadopoulos, sent on Sept. 2, 2016.

Mr. Papadopoulos accepted the offer and arrived in London two weeks later, where he met for several days with the academic and one of his assistants, a young woman.

Over drinks and dinner one evening at a high-end London hotel, the F.B.I. informant raised the subject of the hacked Democratic National Committee emails that had spilled into public view earlier that summer, according to a person familiar with the conversation. The source noted how helpful they had been to the Trump campaign, and asked Mr. Papadopoulos whether he knew anything about Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

So we know that this “informant” was sent by the FBI for the sole and specific purpose of talking to two advisers connected with the campaign. And they did so because they suspected those two individuals had suspicious contact with Russia. 

And we know, according to the Times, that he was to “gather information” during the course of these conversations on behalf of the FBI.

And the Times tells us the “informant” made contact with Papadopoulos under false pretenses, paid him a large sum of cash, put him in contact with a “young woman” for several days, courted him with dinner and drinks in a high-end hotel and then tried to draw from him specific information about the DNC email hack. 

According to the New York Times, the person doing all of those things is not a spy. A man who secretly engages a person under false pretenses for the sole purpose of gathering information from them. Information that is then reported back to a government agency.

And that is not a spy, according to the New York Times. 

Not to get too pedantic here, but let’s let Dictionary.com have a crack at this: 

spy [spahy] 

noun, plural spies.

1. a person employed by a government to obtain secret information or intelligence about another, usually hostile, country, especially with reference to military or naval affairs.

2. a person who keeps close and secret watch on the actions and words of another or others.

The New York Times: All the semantics that’re fit to print.

You might want to see someone about that whiplash. 


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