In response to the news, an outraged US President Donald Trump called on the US Justice Department to launch an investigation into the newly surfaced claims. Following Trump's formal request, the Justice Department issued its own request to its internal watchdog to determine whether rules or laws were broken by its probe of the campaign amid the heated presidential contest, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Speaking with Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear, Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist, indicated that despite Trump's apparently paranoia, his claims simply cannot be ignored in this particular situation.
"He's right," Rall told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou, referring to Trump's tweetstorm that suggested the FBI was spying on him. "It's tempting to dismiss the words of a blowhard, but in this case… the blowhard is telling the truth."
"By an objective definition, the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign. This guy, Stefan Halper was clearly involved in doing exactly that and there's no other way you could interpret what he was up to," he added.
With Halper having met independently with Trump insiders such as George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort, Rall stressed that the 73-year-old Cambridge professor was clearly operating on behalf of the FBI in "a classic intelligence operation."
"It's amazing that anyone can call it anything other than spying," Rall told Kiriakou. "Some people have been trying to spin it on social media as the FBI doesn't spy, [rather] it merely protects America from threats. But, obviously, the FBI spies, you can ask the Black Panthers whether the FBI spies."
Acknowledging that a potential FBI scandal might be on the horizon, Rall told Becker "we are entering a new phase" and it's unclear "how the media is going to handle this."
"This goes really contrary to [the media's] narrative and it's going to be interesting to see whether they're forced to cover this or if they're going to just put their hands over their ears and go ‘La, la, la, we can't hear this,'" Rall concluded.