Last week, reports indicated Stefan Halper, a Cambridge professor and longtime aide to some of Washington’s most powerful figures, was outed as an FBI informant planted inside Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The New York Post writes:
Halper made his first overture when he met with Page at a British symposium. The two remained in regular contact for more than a year, meeting at Halper’s Virginia farm and in Washington, DC, as well as exchanging emails.
The professor met with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis in late August, offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, The Washington Post reported Friday, without naming the academic.
Days later, Halper contacted Papadopoulos by e-mail. The professor offered the young and inexperienced campaign aide $3,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to London, ostensibly to write a paper about energy in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Here are a few fast facts about Halper’s history in politics.
Got His Start in Nixon/Ford Years
The Stanford and Oxford-educated Halper started his career in government in 1971 as a member of President Richard Nixon’s Domestic Policy Council. The foreign policy expert served as the Office of Management and Budget’s Assistant Director of Management and Evaluation Division between 1973-1974. Halper then served as an assistant to all three of President Gerald Ford’s Chief of Staffs — Alexander Haig, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney — until 1977.
Accused of Leading a Spy Ring Inside Jimmy Carter’s Presidential Campaign
The Reagan-Bush presidential campaign hired Halper to serve as Director of Policy Coordination in 1980 and would later be embroiled in the Debategate affair, a scandal in which CIA operatives were accused of leaking the Carter campaign’s foreign policy positions to the Republican ticket.
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald reports:
Four decades ago, Halper was responsible for a long-forgotten spying scandal involving the 1980 election, in which the Reagan campaign – using CIA officials managed by Halper, reportedly under the direction of former CIA Director and then-Vice-Presidential candidate George H.W. Bush – got caught running a spying operation from inside the Carter administration. The plot involved CIA operatives passing classified information about Carter’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering.
Halper also worked as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs during President Ronald Reagan’s first term.
Had a Stint as a Bank Executive
In 1984, Halper was chairman of three financial institutions — National Bank of Northern Virginia, Palmer National Bank, and George Washington National Bank. White House official Oliver North wired loaned funds from the Palmer National Bank to a Swiss bank account, which were later used to aid the contras.
Believed Hillary Clinton Would Be a Better Steward for U.S.-UK Relations
In March 2016, Halper told Russia’s Sputnik News that he believed then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would prove to be a steadier hand in preserving the “special relationship” enjoyed by the United States and Britain.
“I believe Clinton would be best for US-UK relations and for relations with the European Union. Clinton is well-known, deeply experienced and predictable. US-UK relations will remain steady regardless of the winner although Clinton will be less disruptive over time,” Halper said.
Mark Penn — Hillary Clinton’s chief strategist during her 2008 presidential campaign who has served the Clinton family since the mid-90s — lowers the boom on Robert Mueller, Rod Rosenstein, Christopher Steele, the Clinton Foundation, and the intelligence community’s “deep state,” laying out the absurdity and the danger of the Obama administration’s abuse of surveillance and law enforcement against political enemies.
From The Hill:
The “deep state” is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.
At this point, there is little doubt that the highest echelons of the FBI and the Justice Department broke their own rules to end the Hillary Clinton “matter,” but we can expect the inspector general to document what was done or, more pointedly, not done. It is hard to see how a year-long investigation of this won’t come down hard on former FBI Director James Comey and perhaps even former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who definitely wasn’t playing mahjong in a secret “no aides allowed” meeting with former President Clinton on a Phoenix airport tarmac.
With this report on the way and congressional investigators beginning to zero in on the lack of hard, verified evidence for starting the Trump probe, current and former intelligence and Justice Department officials are dumping everything they can think of to save their reputations.
But it is backfiring. They started by telling the story of Alexander Downer, an Australian diplomat, as having remembered a bar conversation with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. But how did the FBI know they should talk to him? That’s left out of their narrative. Downer’s signature appears on a $25 million contribution to the Clinton Foundation. You don’t need much imagination to figure that he was close with Clinton Foundation operatives who relayed information to the State Department, which then called the FBI to complete the loop. This wasn’t intelligence. It was likely opposition research from the start.
In no way would a fourth-hand report from a Maltese professor justify wholesale targeting of four or five members of the Trump campaign. It took Christopher Steele, with his funding concealed through false campaign filings, to be incredibly successful at creating a vast echo chamber around his unverified, fanciful dossier, bouncing it back and forth between the press and the FBI so it appeared that there were multiple sources all coming to the same conclusion.
Read the rest of the article here.
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