It was revealed last week that the FBI or CIA may have placed an informant inside President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign to collect information over suspicions of a connection to Russia.
The New York Times dropped a story Friday evening pushing back against Trump's claims that the informant was actually a "spy," and acknowledged it knew who the "informant" is. The outlet even gave clues about the informant's identity.
However, the Times chose not to publish the informant's identity, citing a policy to "not name informants to preserve their safety," but not every outlet chose to take the same path as the Times. Now, we know the likely identity of the informant.
What are the details?
Trump wrote on Twitter Friday that the FBI placed at least one informant in his campaign for "political purposes." The Times alleges that is an incorrect assessment, reporting instead that the FBI placed the informant in Trump's campaign to talk to campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page over their alleged Russia contacts.
Congressional Republicans have sought the identity of the informant, but FBI Director Christopher Wray told them Wednesday, "the day that we can’t protect human sources is the day the American people start becoming less safe."
Still, the Times published several details about the informant. They described him as "an American academic who teaches in Britain" and reported he "is well known in Washington circles, having served in previous Republican administrations and as a source of information for the C.I.A. in past years."
The Times also went into great detail about his contact with Papadopoulos, Page and Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser.
The Washington Post published a similar story Friday evening, again giving great detail about the government source's identity, but not outright publishing it. The Daily Caller, however, was not as sensitive.
What did the DC report?
The Daily Caller's top reporter, Chuck Ross, reported Friday the Justice Department's reluctance to release the source's identity is "hypocritical" because they are responsible for leaking clues about the source's identity.
His report also gave credence to details in the Times' latest report. Ross reported:
The steady stream of clues leaked to the Times and WaPo have touched off intense speculation about the identity of the source. Some cable TV commentators have pointed to a March 25 report from TheDCNF about Stefan Halper, a University of Cambridge professor who was in contact with both Page and Papadopoulos. Halper, a U.S. citizen, is a veteran of three Republican presidential administrations.
Halper enticed Papadopoulos to visit London in September 2016 with an offer to pay for a policy paper about energy issues. Papadopoulos made the trip and wrote the paper. He was paid $3,000.
Sources familiar with Papadopoulos’s version of his encounters with Halper have told TheDCNF that Halper brought up the question of Russian hacking of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails. Papadopoulos was suspicious of the question, sources say.
Halper, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported, has "extensive ties" to the CIA and MI6, the United Kingdom's foreign intelligence service.
Ross's sources would not confirm or deny that Halper was the source, but confirmed his name "has popped up in some capacity in the Russia matter."
Ross also released another report Friday with extensive details about Halper and his meeting with Papadopoulos.