Rep. Mark Meadows said Sunday there’s “no question” there was a “spy” collecting information during the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, and the real question is when the intelligence-gathering began.
“There is no question that there was a spy that was collecting information, and the definition of that: somebody who does something in secret without the knowledge of another person,” Mr. Meadows said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“You have to ask the question: when did it start?” said Mr. Meadows, North Carolina Republican. “We do know those confidential human sources were engaging prior to the official FBI investigation, so the question [is], at whose direction? What were they collecting and who were they reporting to? Because that was happening before the FBI actually opened an investigation.”
Justice Department officials briefed members of Congress last week about Stefan Halper, who reportedly set up meetings with members of Mr. Trump’s campaign while also working as an informant for the FBI in the bureau’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Congressional Democrats issued a joint statement after the briefings saying that nothing changed their view that there isn’t evidence to support allegations from some Republicans that the FBI or any U.S. intelligence agency placed a “spy” in the Trump campaign.
Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday on CBS that he also hasn’t seen evidence that there was an embedded spy in the Trump campaign.
“I haven’t seen any yet but maybe there is, and if it’s there, we’ll find it and we want to know about it,” said Mr. Rubio, Florida Republican.
“It is the FBI’s job to investigate counterintelligence and that there are people out there with a known history of potential links to a foreign power and they are operating in the orbit of any political campaign or any political office,” he said. “It is the FBI’s job to look at them and find out what they’re up to, and so far that appears to be what happened.”