Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh alleged the FBI actively tried to place informants with Russian ties in the Trump campaign, so the plants could then be used to prove collusion with Moscow.
“This was not an investigation, this was a coup,” Limbaugh asserted on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Thursday night.
The conservative icon pointed to a passage in Attorney General Williams Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report released earlier this week, which noted the Trump campaign turned down entreaties from those with Russia contacts.
Barr’s summary specifically stated, “The special counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.”
Limbaugh argued the offers were actually being generated by the FBI itself for the purpose of ensnaring the campaign in a collusion trap.
“What happened is the FBI attempted to plant their own informants on the Trump campaign,” he told host Sean Hannity. “One of them named Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor, MI-6 UK, they tried to get him hired in a foreign policy advisory role during the campaign and, fortunately after interviewing him, didn’t hire him.”
“If he had been hired, and they tried to get two more people, if they had been hired, here’s is what they would have done: They would have started communicating with Russia agents they know, and then there would have been the collusion that the FBI was trying to create,” said Limbaugh.
“This is worse than anybody was led to believe it is,” the commentator concluded.
The Wall Street Journal editorial board found Halper’s involvement as an informant in the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation troubling in an Op-Ed published last May.
“Multiple media sources have now confirmed that American academic Stefan Halper is the ‘top secret’ informant the FBI asked to sidle up to Trump campaign officials in 2016. Some questions follow: Who asked Mr. Halper to keep tabs on the Trump officials, and when and why?”
The piece noted that Halper reached out to Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.
Organizers of the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in Great Britain, in which Halper participated, paid for Page’s round-trip airfare from the U.S. to attend the mid-July 2016 event.
Another noteworthy participant was former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, whose time at the intelligence agency overlapped with Trump dossier author Christopher Steele. Steele served as head of the Russia desk for MI6.
Dearlove told The Washington Post that Steele’s reputation was “superb,” according to The Journal.
“Perhaps all of this is a crazy coincidence, but House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes is right to investigate,” the editorial board wrote at the time.
The Daily Caller investigative correspondent Chuck Ross reported that Halper contacted Papadopoulos in September 2016, inviting him to fly to London and offering him $3,000 to write a foreign policy paper.
When they met, sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s version of their meetings “said Halper randomly asked Papadopoulos whether he knew about Democratic National Committee emails that had been hacked and leaked by Russians,” Ross wrote.
Halper then “grew agitated and pressed Papadopoulos on the topic,” when the campaign adviser said he had no knowledge of it.
The FBI informant’s assistant, Azra Turk, also brought up Russians and emails over drinks as she “flirted heavily” with the then-28-year-old Papadopoulos, a source told Ross.
Additionally, Halper reached out to Trump campaign consultant Sam Clovis during this timeframe, offering his own foreign policy expertise to the campaign.
“Halper and Dearlove were in the news in December 2016 when they threatened to resign from the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar over what they said were pervasive Russian ties,” Ross reported.
Trump tweeted that same month, “Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president.”
Reports are there was indeed at least one FBI representative implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president. It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a “hot” Fake News story. If true – all time biggest political scandal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2018
He added, “It took place very early on, and long before the phony Russia Hoax became a ‘hot’ Fake News story. If true — all time biggest political scandal!”